High School Scholarship
Frankfurt am Main
High school student Cayla Fitzpatrick lands at Frankfurt airport on a three-week PASCH scholarship and finds bright lights, fresh snow and a friendly green vegetable ….
Getting a PASCH Scholarship was a dream come true. It not only allowed me to put my three years of hard work learning German to practice, but also opened up a whole new world.
I arrived with nine other Kiwis at Frankfurt International Airport after over 24 hours of travel. Getting outside for the first time and being greeted by the city of Frankfurt was surreal.
I had no idea what to expect, everyone spoke German, and all the buildings were so different. Even the lessons were completely in German. On top of that, there were about 60 other names to remember! At first it was a little overwhelming, but Germany will without a doubt always be one of the best experiences of my life.
Bright lights at nightWe stayed in Frankfurt am Main in a place called “Haus der Jugend”. From there, all we had to do was cross a bridge and walk down the road to get to the station and the shops.
Frankfurt river & lights at night | © Cayla Fitzpatrick The city at night was breathtaking. On our first walk we took so many photos, with more to come in the following weeks. Rooms were dorm-style and everyone stayed with about three others. We also had our lessons at “Haus der Jugend’, which made it feel almost like a boarding school.
Time travelThroughout the course we had the opportunity to take excursions to different cities and tourist spots. We went up the Main Tower in Frankfurt, took a trip to Marburg, and saw the Goethe House. Getting the opportunity to see the modern and old parts of such a culturally rich country was amazing and it broadened my understanding of a place so far away.
Castle ruins | © Cayla Fitzpatrick One of my favourite experiences was a day trip on the second Saturday of our stay. Our first stop was the ruins of Königstein. There we explored the ruins, hiding in the tunnels and climbing up what was left of the castle.
From the high places we had a beautiful view of the town and we saw the snowfall. When we arrived, the grass was green – and when we left it was dusted white.
MountaineeringNext was Feldberg. We took the bus up to the peak, which was covered in a thick layer of fresh snow that was almost up to our knees.
Snowy Feldberg | © Cayla Fitzpatrick It was so cold that at times we were hugging for warmth. We had snowball fights, made snowmen, snow angels, and slid down the slopes. This was the second time that I have seen snow, but for most it was a first.
Vegetable mattersOn our trip to Marburg, a couple of the boys found a broccoli doll. Her name was Brocca and she quickly became part of the group. She was taken into the city and on excursions, and she even came to meals.
Brocca, the broccoli doll | © Cayla Fitzpatrick Brocca was lost, kidnapped and found. We left her in Germany under the care of one of our group leaders called Thelma.
Second homeThroughout the course we did many fun activities. There was laser tag, bowling, sports and even parties. Through these activities and our lessons we were all able to make so many new friends and consequently improved my German, allowing me to now speak easily in the language.
Going to Germany was an unforgettable experience and something I would do again without hesitation. At first it was strange and unfamiliar, but Germany has become a second home.