Foreign Country, Foreign Family

By Sandra Cepero García, 4th year ESO.
 
Me and some boys and girls from my school were part of an exchange with students from Prague. They were here (in Ferrol) in February. It was really funny but it was difficult to start talking with my partner Marie.
We travelled to Prague about three weeks ago and I really liked the city. It has got beautiful old buildings and, from the top of them or from high zones, you can see how a lot of these buildings are very pointy, with large spiky towers. It’s really beautiful when you get this view of all the city.
 

Something that surprised me was that, when we arrived, it was snowing. I was very excited about it and I think Prague is more beautiful with snow.

I liked the castle of Prague, Terezín, Charles Bridge and almost every place we visited.
One thing I have to talk about is public transport. It’s so good there!. There are trams, buses and the tube and they usually come every five minutes. You just have to pay once a month to get a card and, then, you can use all these means of transport unlimitedly. They have got some scattered ticket collectors to check if you’ve got the card or not.


 





The students use public transport a lot and I think all of them go to school by it. Almost everyone lives more than 20 minutes away from school.
Their school is really big and it’s located in a cool zone. We had a few lessons there. One of them was English and it was very funny. Something which was weird about the school was that they have to take off their shoes like they do at home. It was peculiar as well, that they have got a restaurant conneceted to the school building. They have lunch there and, after that, they return to school. We also had a couple of meals in this place and the food was great!


I don’t think the food in Prague was very different to ours. I mean, obviously it’s different but less than what I had expected. I liked their typical food, as for example something which was like a kind of bread dough or potato dough. I also thought meat tasted quite similar to the one in Galicia. The names of the dishes are hard to remember but I haven’t forgotten the “typical sweet dough” which they prepare in the streets Trdlnik. There are lots of stalls selling them in the streets as shown in the photograph on the right.

 


Of course, the time when they have their meals or when they go to sleep is peculiar to us too but almost all Europe is like they are.
The week was full of activities organised both by the school and by each family. We visited many places and learnt a lot about Prague. Another activity I loved was ice skating. I was amazed because it was my first time and I thought it would be more difficult than it was. 

 
My experience with the family was good. My partner’s mum was very polite and she was always trying to make me feel comfortable. Their house wasn’t strange or different to me. The only thing which caught my attention was that the heating is higher than here. It was the same in all students’ flats or houses, at school, in shops and in all buildings. You can be really warm everywhere but in the street.
My family was very healthy and they gave me some healthy snacks for all day every day. I visited some places with them like the zoo. It was Marie, her dad, her two siblings and me who went there. I didn’t like it very much but it’s because I don’t like any zoo.
We were in two restaurants with her mum. One of them was very famous and they gave you a small leaflet with information about what events were carried out there and what famous people used to visit the place or still visit it today. I had typical meals in both restaurants and it was delicious!  

 
People in the Czech Republic love arts so they often go to the theatre or attend concerts so I had the opportunity to go to a concert with my family, too, and I enjoyed it.
I also visited my favourite place in Prague with Marie. She took me to the centre of her district and we saw a little church, her primary school, a lot of streets and a big park with a lot of trees. When we were there, she explained to me how Prague is divided.
My experience with her was nice because she speaks English really well, she’s very nice and she always tried to give details about the places we went to and to explain a lot of things about their culture and education.
The whole experience was great and interesting and I’d like to go on an exchange again.




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