Narrative Essay – My Year Abroad – First Draft

Der folgende Text wird der erste englische Beitrag auf diesem Blog sein. Ich werde zumindest zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt noch nicht anfangen, die normalen Berichte, die ich jede zweite Woche veröffentliche, auf englisch zu schreiben, dies ist nämlich nur eine Ausnahme. Wie die Meisten wissen sollten, habe ich dieses Halbjahr ja unter anderem Englischunterricht und in diesem schreiben wir gerade einen “Narrative Essay”, wortwörtlich übersetzt einen “erzählenden Aufsatz”, also eine Geschichte mit bestimmten Rahmenbedingungen. Ich habe mich dafür entschieden, über meine Zeit hier zu schreiben, angefangen mit den allerersten Überlegungen, endend bei dem jetzigen Stand der Dinge. Ich dachte, das würde vielleicht einige von Euch interessieren und ich freue mich auch schon darauf, diesen Text eventuell nächstes Jahr nochmal zu lesen und zu sehen, wie sich mein Englisch in dieser Zeit verbessert hat und mich so auch besser an einige Gedanken und Gefühle in Bezug auf dieses Jahr vor allem von vor dem Antritt dieser Reise zu erinnern. Außerdem wollte ich noch darauf hinweisen, das dies, wie bereits im Titel erwähnt, der First Draft ist, ich habe bisher also einfach drauf los geschrieben und ihn mir danach nicht nochmal durchgelesen, weshalb wohl auch ein paar Flüchtigkeitsfehler auftreten werden. Die nächsten Tage werde ich den Aufsatz dann mehrmals durchlesen, Flüchtigkeitsfehler verbessern und auch sonst versuchen, den Text auf ein höheres Niveau zu bringen und vor allem, ihn zu kürzen, da die Rahmenbedingungen eine Länge von ungefähr einer Seite vorsieht, mein momentaner Aufsatz mit knapp 1200 Wörtern aber mehr als doppelt so lang ist. Dies ist gleichzeitig auch der Hauptgrund, weswegen ich diese Version schon hier veröffentliche, ich werde nämlich höchstwahrscheinlich nicht drumherum kommen, den Text auch inhaltlich an der ein oder anderen Stele zu kürzen. Die kommenden Versionen werde ich dann natürlich auch in meinen Blog aufnehmen, so könnt auch Ihr die Veränderungen verfolgen. Nun aber hoffentlich viel Spaß mit diesem Aufsatz:

At some times of your life you just have to risk something even though you are not sure whether you are doing the right thing or not. You have to ignore the risk, as far as it does not jeopardize your life, and try something new with the thought of knowing it would be great.

A year ago, when I was still 14, I already planned to do a Work ’n’ Travel after school having heard that from other people I met in hostels in Ireland. Therefore, I went to a fair about student exchanges last winter, taking my father with me. We recognized soon that there are very few information about Work ‘n’ Travels but more on offers for years abroad during school time.

My father used to live in Malaysia for seven years in his childhood speaking English every day so my English skills weren’t bad. This was one of many reasons why I decided to spend my 10th school year abroad, in Canada.

The next weeks, I spent a few hours daily writing applications on German, on English, collecting pictures representing me and searching for possibilities of scholarships. All the preparations probably took my father even more time than me but I had the feeling that he was happy about my decision to spend a year in Canada.

In those days and weeks it was really fun working on something I was really looking forward to. My father found a very nice town in western Canada with a ski resort and a wonderful landscape out of many hills surrounding it, he found a little organization working with the School District and finally we could even meet the only staff member.

We talked about all the documents I had to fill in meaning more work but I liked it. My mother helped me setting up an online blog. I wrote about my preparations and connected experiences.

Unfortunately I was not able to get a scholarship but my grandmother who was staying in Malaysia with my father was fascinated of my plans at least as much as my father so she was able and wanted to support them by paying the huge amount of money this year would cost.

Now, when all the preparations were done but the start of my trip was still half a year away, I first started to think about all the different changes that year will bring in detail. I was very curios about what is going to happen, how the people will be and I was looking forward to spending a whole year without my parents.

That was not because I do not like my parents, rather because I love to be independent. My relationship to my parents is great and extraordinarily tight but I in this case, that was probably the biggest issue. I started worrying about home sickness and started to be a little afraid of not liking my host family but I did not tell anyone. That was because I knew I could not change my decision but mostly because I did not want to change it. I saw the situation as an exercise, I knew it was a great opportunity not many people get and even if I would dislike the year there would be overwhelming experiences anyways.

Probably the biggest reason for all of my fear was because of a student exchange in grade seven when I stayed in France for only one week crying daily anyways because of the worst home sickness I have ever had.

By the time, the flight to Vernon in British Columbia approached in huge steps and my fear became less and less. Instead, my anticipation grew and grew and when summer break started I was happy that I do not have to enter my German school again for one year.

But first, my parents, my sister who is two years younger than me and I went on vacation, the first time outside of Europe, we flew to Malaysia. The trip was excellent, I loved the completely different climate conditions, all the memories from my father’s childhood he shared with us and the time spent with my family right before I will not see them for so long.

A month later, the vacation was over and I would leave Germany again in one week which did not make me very nervous. I was marvelled about that but the easy solution might have been that I just could not imagine at all how my next year would proceed and how I would like it.

Then, the day of my flight came and I said goodbye to my sister before she had to go to school again, I said goodbye to my mother who went to work afterwards and then, I entered my father’s car. He drove me to the airport, I checked my luggage in and before walking to the gate, I gave my father a hug, too and said goodbye, knowing he was the last familiar person I saw before I entered the plane for nine hours. I waited a few hours for my second flight and finally arrived at my home for the next year at 11 pm in Canadian time. For my body it was 8 am so I was very tired.

That might have been the biggest reason why I had to start to cry when I was sitting in my room first. There were maybe ten people sitting in the living room and talking to each other, everything was new and I started to miss my parents.

So I phoned my father, talked to him while crying for at least an hour before I went to bed. The first morning was as bad as the last evening, I was missing home and thought I would dislike my homestay parents, all the other people here and basically the rest of the world when I went upstairs to have breakfast.

That was the moment when I first got to know them how they really are. There were very kind, gave me bacon and pancakes for breakfast and asked me which food I like and which I don’t. They told me about their family and their life before they moved here and I started to talk with them.

The next days, I felt better and better, liking my homestay parents more and more and starting to enjoy the whole situation.

Now, I have already spent over two months here, I got to know some new friends and received surprisingly good feedback from my teachers and homestay parents. I have the feeling of being home here and as happy as never before. I am glad that I risked that I would not be happy here so I reached the probably best time of my life so far.

I was not sure if I would like it here and if I would be happy so far away from my parents but I risked it anyways and succeeded.

4 thoughts on “Narrative Essay – My Year Abroad – First Draft

  1. Dear Luk, thanks for letting me join your personal blog. I enjoyed reading your essay – I know you can write long texts :). It will be a new experience for you to work on school stuff twice or even three times before turning an assignment in (unlike in German schools).
    I will stay in touch, so send us more 🙂

    1. Thank you, the last days I’ve already written the second and final draft which you can read in my next post. It is great to hear that you are interested in what I am experiencing here because by putting that much effort in teaching us English, you made my stay here a lot easier.

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