Our great trip began on Tuesday. We took the train via Cologne to Brussels. We arrived in the afternoon so we had the afternoon for checking in in the hotel and going into a restaurant with the teachers.
Brussels is an amazing city with an high rate of chocolate shops and places where you can buy french fries. Our second day in Brussels was also interesting because we saw some sights of the Belgian capital like the Atomium.Later we went via Liège to Aywaille to meet our host students. This was the decisive moment, my first contact to the Belgian students.
First the circumstances were confusing because Lisa's host student was ill and Sophie had already two students. So Sophie and her family had to share their house with three guest students. But everybody was nice, a good premise for getting along with each other. The communication was no problem because everybody was able to speak English only to start a conversation was a thing we had to come across. Sophie's family was very nice. She has a German step mother that made the interactions way easier. Her father is in his free time a clown for ill children in the hospital. Sophie's sisters were also very nice but I didn`t talk a lot to them because they spent most of the time during our visit at the home of their mother.
My time in Belgium was coined by great conversations with great people. I never made a bad experience with Belgian people and I was impressed by the politeness of them. Talking to Belgian people gives you the feeling of being an interesting person, I like that.
Tuesday, the 20th of October our Comenius team took a train to Brussels and we arrived there in the evening. Our Comenius team had the following participants: The 4 students Olesja, Lisa,Torben and me and also the 4 teachers Mrs Holzinger, Mrs. Janoschek, Mrs. Spielhoff and Mr. Braun. Mr.Braun has the intention to move to Brussels soon and therefore he was able to show us the most important sights of this town. On Tuesday evening we took a walk to the Grand Place which used to be a place for market traders to sell their wares. Today there a lot of restaurants, pubs and the town hall, which is like the others a magnificent building on this square. Close to this place is also the Manneken Pis, which is also an attraction, but I still don’t understand why. Everywhere in this town are chocolate stores where we bought pralines, which is a speciality of Belgium. Later we went to a pub called “mort surbite”. There we drank the Belgium beer, which is also famous and we got to know that they produce in Belgium fruit beers.
On the next day we visited the Atomium which is a monument built for Expo 1958, visited some European institutions and on the same day we took a train to Aywaille where we met finally our host families. Florence , my hostsister and her dad picked me up there. Florence has got three brothers and one brother who still lives at home. His name is Benoit and he was very nice. Unfortunately her parents and Benoit were not able to speak English and so we had to communicate in French, which was kind of hard. I was only able to understand them when they spoke slowly. Florence was already in Bremen and she stayed at my house and so we already knew each other.
On Thursday we went to school with a bus and it took one hour to get to school, because my host family lives in Tilf which is about 7 km away from Liege. When we arrived at school in Aywaille, we studied the first two hours English with the other host students from Spain and France. Later we had a little ceremony at the town hall. The director of the school welcomed us there. After a mime show the boys played soccer at school and in the afternoon I went with Benoit through the town in Tilf. It’s a little town with a lot of nice stores. In the evening we met Clara in Liege and there we went to a Belgium pub, where they had over 2000 different types of beer. On Friday we met the other participants of the project at the movie theatre and we watched the movie Looking for Eric by Ken Loach. In the afternoon the Belgium teachers and students showed us a folk dance, which is in my point of view kind of funny, but still interesting. In the evening we had a barbecue with our host families and the teachers. The food was very good and despite that it was quite interesting to speak with the other students about their life.
The last day, the dad of Clara took us for a ride on a boat in Liege and later I went with my family to the fair of Liege.
All in all I can say that my family was communicative, open-minded and interested about my life in Germany. The exchange was a good experience.