I had the chance to spend a wonderful month in the beautiful city of Hamburg, in Germany. I really liked Hamburg, not only because there are many things to see, but also for its greenery. It is a big city but there are still many parks and many nice walks to have around Alster Lake, which is right in the heart of the city. I like nature a lot and I did not want to end up in too big a city. Hamburg is a particularly pleasant city to live in. Moreover it is well connected by public transports, whether it be the metro, buses or trains.
Having recently become gluten intolerant, I was a bit afraid to go abroad and I mostly wondered what I was going to eat. ESL advised me to live in a shared flat so I could cook for myself – which was perfect. I want to highlight the efficiency and the speed of ESL’s LTC’s. This agency is really well organized and I strongly recommend it! I really liked all the travel documentation I received before leaving (information about the city, touristic activities, maps of public transports, etc.).
The Colón Language Center was also very well organized and I was warmly welcomed. I decided to follow an intensive course, which means I had classes every morning from 8.50am to 1.00pm. It was ideal for me because I was free in the afternoons to visit the city and to do my homework! Moreover, the school organized excursions every week, which allowed me to get to know other students from the school and to discover beautiful places (Travenmüde, Schwerin, Blankenese etc.). Furthermore, the school also organizes once per month a cinema night, which allowed me to improve my oral understanding in an interactive way. Every Thursday, students were invited to enjoy a Stammtisch, during which we met at a small restaurant to have a drink and practice the language. Anyway, it was really great and I recommend this school. Nonetheless, I was surprised to meet so many Swiss people! That was a bit annoying because I heard a lot of French. 6 out of 14 students were Swiss. As I wanted to learn German, I avoided being with the Swiss or I spoke German to them. Many young people also came from Spain. I liked the multicultural aspect of the students from the school. There were people from everywhere (Spain, Italy, England, Ireland, China, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Russia, Brazil etc.), which allowed me to discover other mentalities. Anyway, I came back to Switzerland with a lot of memories and a lot of new friends too. A month is a bit short to really learn German, I recommend 3 months minimum. A piece of advice: don’t hesitate to go and discover new horizons!