Narrative Essay – My Year Abroad – Second and Final Draft

Die letzten beiden Tage habe ich, wie im letzten Beitrag bereits angekündigt, noch zweimal über meinen Text gelesen, leichte inhaltliche Veränderungen vorgenommen, aber vor allem viele Formulierungen geändert und falsche Übersetzungen verbessert. Mit dem finalen Entwurf bin ich sehr zufrieden und ich hoffe, damit meine Note im Englischunterricht noch etwas steigern zu können, vor allem möchte ich mit diesem Text aber meine Gefühle und Gedanken vor dem Antritt dieser Reise und in den ersten Tagen, Wochen und inzwischen schon Monaten hier erläutern. Nun hoffentlich viel Spaß mit dem Text:

At some times of your life you just have to risk something even though you are not sure whether you are going to succeed or not. You have to ignore the risk, as far as it does not endanger 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 and 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 were very few information about Work and 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 and my English teacher put a lot of effort in teaching my class during the last years 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.

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 the city of a similar size to my hometown in Germany, 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 and some rules I had to follow. My mother helped me setting up an online blog in which 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 me by paying the huge amount of money this year would cost.

Now, all the preparations were done but the start of my trip was still half a year away. That was the moment when I started to think about all the different changes that year would bring in detail for the first time. I was very curious about what is going to happen, how the Canadian people would act 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 in this case, that was probably the biggest issue. I started to worry about home sickness and started to be a little afraid of not liking my host family but I did not tell anyone. On one side, that was because I knew I could not change my decision but it was mostly because I did not want to change it. I saw the situation as a challenge, 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.

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 over a 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 would 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 the next year of my life would be 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 in my luggage 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.

After two flights and some time at the airport of Calgary, I arrived in Kelowna and was driven home where I arrived around 11 pm so it was 8 am in Germany and 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 my host parents how they really are. They were very kind, gave me bacon and pancakes for breakfast and asked me if I would like or dislike several kinds of food. 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 could not imagine any better host parents and my English skills are increasing every day. 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.

1 thought on “Narrative Essay – My Year Abroad – Second and Final Draft

  1. Since you asked for criticism, here you go:

    In one sentence you wrote “connect” instead of “collect” I think.

    Next I don’t think that your English skills are so good because your father used to live in Malaysia in his childhood. I believe that you would be just as good if he spent his whole life in Germany. But I can imagine that his childhood in a foreign country and culture inspired you in your desire to spend a year abroad.

    In my last comment I wrote that I appreciate your writing the essay in English. I mean it. It’s a little strange but it’s my impression that the text is more authentic and less “kitschig” in English than it were written in German.

    Finally and concerning your request to be made aware of any mistakes you have to ask someone other than me.

    I love you and I’m very happy to be your mom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *