Ein Gastbeitrag von Veronika, die ihren Sommer gemeinsam mit Freunden in Winchester verbrachte
So let the journey begin…
As my trip to Winchester started in Cologne, I had to wait the whole day until it was half past seven. I was really excited and so it was very redemptive to go to the bus stop at quarter past seven. The last days I pondered very often on how my supervisors would be and what kind of people would travel together with me, and I was glad I met two nice girls right in the coach. Unfortunately both of them didn’t go to Winchester and when we arrived in Aachen (the Relaisstation) I was excited again. Now I would finally meet the people I would stay with. They seemed all to be very nice but as it was late we did not talk very much- just smile at each other and then get into the other coach. The rest of the journey we slept and about five o’clock in the morning we reached our first destination: Windmill Hill. At half past nine we arrived in Winchester and got breakfast in the Ocean. There we started first small talks and got to know each other a little bit. Then we watched a film and visited the town shortly with some of our supervisors. Afterwards we had lunch and in the early afternoon we got our room keys as well as some first instructions. As my parents had booked a room with own bathroom we walked about 10 minutes up a hill to get there. We groaned about having so heavy suitcases and bags, luckily our supervisors helped us to get everything up Later we could have done Arts and Crafts but to be honest we were tired and stayed in our rooms. In the evening we played ice breaker games – it was really funny and we got to know each other better. I was happy that all other students were very nice and now I can say that we had much fun together in these two weeks!!!
At the first “school day” we did a test so that we could be separated into groups with the same level. Our teacher for the first two lessons was great; I really loved her way of teaching! In the third lesson we had another teacher that was also very good and in retrospect I can say that I improved my speaking skills very much, I somehow lost the restraint of speaking freely. (In the second week I even started to think in English and with my German friends I spoke English sometimes although we could have spoken GermanJ). I think it was easier to speak English there because as long as somebody could understand you, it did not really matter if you did some mistakes or not. The afternoon programme was always very good, sometimes it was a hard decision to choose between the varieties of possible activities. In the Assembly we talked about the plans for today and about important announcements and after that we had TTT (time to talk). Every supervisor had some students and they asked if there were any complains or problems with our rooms/the lessons/… In the evening there was again programme, it was always something funny or crazy (e.g. Scavenger hunt, Quiz night or Gender Party). I liked very much that the activities weren’t compulsory but as it was boring to do nothing the whole day my friends and me almost joined an activity every day. Because we all were older than thirteen we were allowed to go to town by ourselves and we bought some postcards as well as presents and souvenirs. I had the trip program, so I went to Bournemouth the first week and to Salisbury the second week.
Saturday was the birthday of one of our supervisors so two of my new friends and me stood up very early because we had organized a surprise for her. We put balloons to her door and a banner with Happy Birthday on it. Additionally we wrote a card and after we got the things ready we waited until she opened her door and sang “Happy Birthday”. She really rejoiced over it and as we were going to London today we caught up the missing sleep in the bus . On our way in the capital of England we dropped the ones that were leaving (by plane) in London Heathrow. After we had a sightseeing tour with our supervisors, we went shopping in groups of at least three people. We had a great afternoon in London and everything went well. We drove back to Winchester at half past five, with hurting feet but very satisfied with the day.
On Monday the last Spanish supervisor left and the second (and last week) started. It was not only my last week; it was the last very last week of the Camp too. Nevertheless we had as much fun as the first week! It was more personal and we spend more time with the supervisors than before, but I think it was an advantage because you spoke more English and it did not influence the programme or anything else. The activities were still great and the trip to Salisbury was very interesting! At the Assembly on Friday we got our Certificates, it said what level we achieved, how our participation in the lessons was and our teacher wrote a little personal note. A special highlight was the flash mob we did Friday evening. Before we had practiced two evenings to learn the IP summer dance 2013 („Feel this moment“) and “Call me maybe”. Then we tried out on Thursday and on Friday evening we went to town and danced in front of two Cafes as well as in McDonalds. It was very cool and we had much fun, especially to look unsuspicious before the music starts! Maybe it was a little bit too crazy…but you know what? We don’t care…we love it!! When we got back to the University we watched a video full with photos and videos of our time and nearly everybody started crying.
It was a great time in Winchester and I got to know so many new people, all of them very nice and so crazy! I hope to be England next year too, maybe in Winchester, maybe somewhere else, but I definitely want to experience such a wonderful journey again! I think I really improved my English and I recommend it to everyone who wants to meet people from all over the world and have an unforgettable summer!
I would like to say Thank you to the complete Winchester Team 2013 for the great time I had!