Ask a parent – more thoughts about the exchange project

The parents are deeply involved in every exchange process. Not only do they pay for the tickets, they invite a foreign teenager to their house and invite him to become a family member. For two weeks they have to take care of one more child.

Is it really worth that work?

Again, we interviewed a mother and a father of the Indian exchange students to get the answers:

The mother of Muskan talks about the exchange with Germany
Thoughts of a father - why should somebody take part in an exchange with Germany


Different countries, different customs

How to avoid missunderstandings

In our recent posts you can often read about misunderstandings that can happen on both sides during an exchange project. But how can you avoid those misunderstandings and why do they happen so often?

An mathematical example

It shouldn’t take you too long to get the result for an easy calculation like 8 – 2. But how long will it take you, when the well known rules of calculation do not apply any more. Imagine the symbol plus is now representing a division and when you see a division you must multiply. Try to solve the following equations as fast as possible. Use the following new rules:

+ turns to /, / turns to  *, * turns to and turns into +

8-2 =
12+4 =
4*3 =
6/2 =
12*2 =
20+10 =

Was it more difficult than ususal? It gets better when you practice more often. But you still have to stay concentrated all the time. Otherwise you fall back into old patterns.

Different countries, different rules

When you enter a foreign country you also have to apply to new rules. But contrary to the example above nobody tells you these rules, you have to figure out the norms and conventions all by yourself. And when you finaly get to know the right rules you have to apply to them accordingly all the time.

Can you imagine how exhausting it is when you try not to make any mistakes and you  ponder all the time how to interpret certain customs the right way?

If you make a small mistake only once, you create one of our so called small misunderstandings!

How to avoid misunderstandings

But you can get rid of those misunderstandings. First you have to show tolerance when somebody doesn’t act like you expected. Second, you have to to project your self into the other’s perspective. What could be the real purpose that you guest acted like he did?

At the Johannes-Turmair-Gymnasium we do a lot of role plays during our intercultural training. The students act and diskuss different scenarios. In all those stories somebody behaves different and therefore doesn’t answer your expectation. With the help of an experienced teacher the students talk about the situation and consider the actual reason for the strange behaviour.

My guest stays in his room all day! Why doesn’t he/she eat our food? Doesn’t he like what we cook? Why doesn’t he want to attend my training  with the football club?

Just read our worksheet about this problem (in German language only). Or tell us your story! Could you solve a misunderstanding with the guest you hosted? Or did you even cause a small misunderstanding? We are looking forward to reading your comments!

Meet the Germans – a video analysis

The German students are still preparing themselves for the arrival of their Indian guests. Because of this weekly intercultural training they are now aware of small culturall differences that can result in big misunderstandings and can also lead to a so called culture shock.

But what are these differences? What is typical for Germany and how do Germans handle things diffent?

The students combed the internet for a collection of dos and don’ts in Germany.

The following videos are just a small example of the huge amount of Videos you can find on youtube. Dozens of travellers and exchange students talk about their impressions of Germany and about the small things in average life they fount quite different to their own culture. 

Please leave a comment, if you know another good clip about German issues that give you the culture shock!

And here are two more links to some more great videos:

Rewboss, a British, who lives in Germany for years tells us some things he would miss if he had to leave Germany: Ten things about Germany

SamWaltonMan is taking part in an one year exchange in Germany. In his videos about Germany he talks about the cultural differences that you should be aware of when coming to Germany: Life in Germany – Ep. 54: Cultural differences



Ask a parent – Thoughts about the exchange project

An exchange project is always a whole family project. The siblings often have to give away a room and the parents have to host the foreigner, have to share their apartment or house and have to pay for tickets or field trips with the guest.

So why should they allow their child to participate in our exchange project with Germany and India?

We interviewed Aaditya’s mother and another father of an Indian exchange student to get the answers:

Aaditya asks his mother about the exchange project
Interview of an Indian father about the German-Indian exchange project


Before the exchange – Bhavya’s first impressions

In the column “before the exchange” the German and Indian students explain why they participate in the exchange project. They write about their first preparations and their first contact with their partner.

Today Bhavya, a student of Lotus Valley International School, tells us how he was chosen for the exchange project, what he is looking forward to and why he is participating in our students exchange.

Speeking the German language quite fluently, he wrote his full statement in German:

Der deutsche Austausch ist eines der interessantesten Ereignisse, die in unserer Schule und allen anderen PASCH-Schulen stattfindet. Ich wollte immer daran teilnehmen, als ich mit der deutschen Sprache in der 6. Stufe begann.

Als ich am Ende der Klasse 9 vor den Abschlussprüfungen war, wurde unsere Klasse dem Konzept der deutschen Börse vorgestellt. Alle Schüler, die an der Börse teilnehmen wollten, mussten den jeweiligen deutschen Lehrern ihre Namen geben. Ich habe auch gern meinen Namen gegeben, aber ich wusste nicht, dass die Gelegenheit so schnell meine Tür schlagen würde!!! In der nächsten Zeit kam nun Radhika Maam zu unserer Klasse und rief mich und zwei meiner anderen Freunde. Sie brachte uns in eine andere leere Klasse und sagte uns, dass wir auf der Grundlage unserer deutschen Fähigkeiten, Verhaltensweisen und anderen wichtigen Aspekten für die Deutsche Börse ausgewählt wurden. Ich konnte mein Glück nicht glauben.

Alle drei von uns waren ihr dafür dankbar.

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