Vanessa – September 1- Present (School!):

I was nervous to start school where I knew I would understand nothing, know no one, and be completely out of my element. But in the end I really had nothing to fear. I am in the sixth grade (or 10th grade in America) and my class is completely nice and welcoming. I didn’t go into the 7th grade with kids my own age because in that class they do a lot of preparation for the final exam that all Austrians must take at the end of their general education. The Austrian school system is completely different so I will give you a quick rundown. You have only one class of 15-20 students that you stay with from the time you are kids. You are only with this class and in one room the whole school year. Instead of the students switching classes, the teachers go from class room to class room. The daily schedule is also different for each day of the week. You have 6 periods per day and these periods change all the time. In total there are 10-12 subjects that I sit through every week, but I only get a grade in 7 of these which I choose. My schedule is also slightly special since I have not learned and do not need to learn all of the subjects as the other kids. So for classes like French, Latin, and Religion I go to the first or seconds grades during their German periods.

School is also shorter in Gymnasium. On a normal day school is out at 1:20. We do not have lunch in school but instead two 10-15 minute breaks where we are allowed to eat a snack. After school I usually go home where we then eat lunch together. School can be boring sometimes as I cannot understand all of the German that is being spoken so fast during lessons. But that is normal for any school anywhere (except in Mrs. Jenkins class, or any other of my dear Chelan teachers who may be reading this)! I have already finished the only English book I brought from America thanks to these long hours of understanding absolutely nothing.