Discovering German Culture
New member of the Kinder Exchange team, Juliana Huber, tells us about German customs and why she loves discovering new cultures.
Sure, it may signify the end of summer, but it also seems to signify new beginnings. With a new school year comes new challenges, new projects, new adventures, and a lot of new faces!
One particular new face here at Kinder Exchange is Juliana Huber. A French and P.E teacher based in Freiburg, South-West Germany, Juliana will be looking after our Anglo-Germanic exchanges.
Juliana’s passion for languages and travel was sparked by a love of all things French. Having started to learn the language at the age of 8, she pursued studies in languages and sport and was soon packing up her suitcase and venturing off to live in France.
Living abroad, she not only developed her language skills and understanding of French culture, but her outlook changed too. Spending time in another country led Juliana to become more open towards other people, as well as towards their traditions and customs. It was this that motivated Juliana to join the Kinder Exchange team, where she would be able to help young people to meet exchange partners with common interests and to support them in making the courageous yet wholly rewarding step of embarking on a language exchange.
After hearing about Juliana’s experiences in France, we were pretty keen to learn what she made of her own country’s culture! We asked Juliana to tell us about life in Germany, here is what we discovered…
You only have to take a quick look at the world-renowned Christmas Markets in Germany to understand how important Christmas is there! In Germany, presents are exchanged on Christmas Eve and families typically have a feast of carp and potato salad in the evening.
Germany is very mountainous, which means that lots of Germans love going skiing and hiking. However, unlike here in the UK, a very small portion of Germany is by the sea, so they have to go a little further afield for those long stretches of sandy beaches that we like to bask on!
In German schools, students tend to start the school day at around 7:30am. Sounds early right? Perhaps, but they finish school earlier too: usually at around 1pm in the afternoon. This gives young people ample time for extra-curricular activities.
Nature is very important in Germany, and people are willing to go to great lengths to protect their environment.
Rugby is barely known in Germany (despite studying sport, Juliana hadn’t seen a rugby match until she was 21 years old and living in France!); so what sports are popular? Handball, football, and volleyball are very widely practiced in Germany, as well as gymnastics and mountain biking.
You can’t mention Germany customs without talking about the food! Particular favourites include Brezeln (Pretzels) and Bratwurst (sausages). We can confirm that they’re extremely tasty, and definitely worth the trip!
Finally, Juliana explains, Germans are very proud of their high quality automobiles. Well after all that daydreaming we’ve been doing about Volkswagen Campervans, who are we to argue with that?
If all that hasn’t whet your appetite for a trip to Germany, well, we don’t know what will! To find out more about exchanges in Germany, give us a call or drop us an email before completing your registration.