Berlin home stayer Misaki Arai
Seiritsu High School has a student exchange arrangement with GHO School in Berlin, Germany. Misaki Arai was one of two students from Seiritsu that went there this year from March 21 to April 4th during the Spring Break in Japan.
SG: Prior to going to Berlin, what were your impressions of Germany?
MA: My impressions of Germany were that the people would not be friendly, the food not delicious, but that Germans love football.
SG: Now what is your impression of Germany?
MA: The people there are very kind, they don’t sleep on the train when commuting like Japanese people, but that the food is so-so.
SG: Please tell us about your home stay.
MA: My home stay sister’s name was Sophia and she’s 17. She lives with her father and mother, but her older brother lives somewhere else. Sophia like Japanese things very much, she studies the Japanese language and she’s kind.
SG: What was the home stay house like?
MA: They had a big house with an electric stove for cooking in the kitchen, which we never see in Japan since Japanese use natural gas. Also it was interesting to see that the shower room and the bathtub room were separate.
SG: What language did you use there?
MA: Mainly I spoke English and a little Japanese. Sophia’s parents can’t speak English so Sophia and I spoke to each other in either English or Japanese and then she would translate for the parents when we were with them. Also Sophia spoke English very fast so sometimes I couldn’t follow it.
SG: How did you find the German high school? Different from a Japanese high school?
MA: Yes, very. There is much more freedom in a German school, as the students wear no uniforms, they can dye their hair any color and school finished at 2:30pm with no extra studies afterwards. I sat in on regular classes plus I participated with the volleyball club and the Japanese club. On the last day we made Japanese food, so I made curry rice and ramen noodles.
In the Japanese classes the Japanese language teachers are both native Japanese and native Germans, which I found interesting.
SG: What did you see in Berlin?
MA: I went to many museums in Berlin and in Dresden, plus I went to Leipzig to watch the German National Football Team beat the Liechtenstein National Football Team 4-0.
SG: What was the most interesting things you saw?
MA: The Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam was really beautiful, with a wide open estate around it. School was also fun, the students were very funny and the senior students in Grade 13 who liked manga and anime were real otaku. It was interesting to see the different school events when students wear different clothing. There was Bad Taste Day, Pajama Day, 80’s Day plus Ladies & Gentlemen Day. Each time students came to school dressed up in that day’s theme, which would never happen in Japan.
SG: Where there some things you didn’t like about the school?
MA: The students only have a very short break time for lunch, so they just eat while walking to the next class.
SG: Was there any German food that you liked?
MA: The German Donor was delicious!
SG: Would you like to go back to Germany?
MA: Yes, I would like to see more of the country, like Frankfurt, which is famous for sightseeing. But I’ve also invited Sophia to come visit me in Japan so hopefully I can show her my country too.