Manuel from Germany was a student on our High School Select programme for a semester. He spent September to January at a college in Sussex, England: a county best known for its colourful tourist destinations, such as the Brighton Pavilion; for its historically packed towns, such as Hastings – a famous battle occurring there in 1066; and for Lewes, a beautiful medieval town.
College life in the UK is quite unique, with students normally studying 3-4 subjects of their choosing, and enjoying a little more independence than at high school.
Why did you decide to choose the UK and the High School Select programme for your exchange?
I wanted something more local and I´ve always been interested in England. I chose the college because I wanted something completely different. And this college was exactly that and also looked amazing. So I couldn’t really resist.
Tell us about college life in the UK.
I really enjoyed the college. It was by far bigger and more modern than my school back home in Germany. The other international students and I did some nice trips!
Tell us about your host family and what it’s like living with a British family!
I have a big energy and my host parents have matched that energy luckily, so [we got along] very well. But you have to remember about my host family, they are BRITISH. That means that you may experience some things you probably have never seen before, like drinking tea with milk. Also the popular “English Breakfast” is a thing, but I surprisingly really liked that.
What was your favourite experience with your host family?
My favourite experience was buying the Christmas tree together. We got a very big one, it was even bigger than me! It was so chaotic but also funny, because I had to carry the whole tree on a shopping cart, through the whole supermarket. So I really had to pay attention not to run over anyone.
What was the most challenging part of your exchange?
I didn’t really have challenging parts while I was abroad. Of course there are always little difficulties, but none of those are big enough to mention. That’s normal life. In my opinion many students who are going to do exchange years have too many worries.
What was the best part of your exchange?
The best part about my exchange was definitely meeting loads of lovely and awesome people, friends, family.
What would you say to any prospective students thinking about an exchange in the UK?
Don’t worry that much about the things that could go wrong – look forward! Everything is going to be great. Go outside, meet your friends and explore!