How is life in Winnipeg

Testimonials from Manitoba

Dear iSt team,

A long time ago you asked me for a sign of life from Canada, but unfortunately I was too busy enjoying my stay. But now, a little more than two months after my trip, I would like to make up for this and tell you about my adventure.

I still remember well the time when the day of departure was still in the distant future. I made contact with my host family, talked to other exchange students and looked forward to the big day. Nevertheless, my nervousness was unbearable when it finally started. The small farewell tears at the airport were quickly forgotten when I boarded a plane for the first time in my life and flew to a time so far away from home as never before. My dream of living abroad for three months should now come true in Winnipeg, Canada.

So, 25 hours after leaving my home country, I arrived dead tired at the airport in Winnipeg. There it was with a huge poster about my family for three months: my host parents, my 8-year-old host sister and my 4-year-old host brother. Before I went to my new home, however, there was still a shock waiting for me. Fighting through the meter-high snow to the car at minus 45 ° C was something very unusual for a North German like me.

The first few weeks went on like this. Everything was really exciting and even the everyday little things turned out to be a great adventure. I will probably never forget my first day at school in Canada: so many new faces and a completely different school atmosphere than I was used to in Germany. Everyone was very friendly and understanding, but at the beginning it was a bit difficult for me to build real friendships with the Canadians and I was very happy that I had got to know many other exchange students from all over the world and with them in my free time Could explore the city.

But when I started playing for the soccer team at my school, the Transcona Collegiate Institute, I met a lot of new people and the Canadian friends weren't long in coming. I also did quite a bit with the church youth group. I really enjoyed going to events like this, even if I would never have believed it before my stay. So here's a tip for everyone who still has their stay ahead of them: Be open to everything and try to get in contact with people through activities. Don't wait for others to approach you, but take action yourself. It is worth it ..

My life in the province of Manitoba was very different from the life I was used to in Germany and that is exactly what I enjoyed. I could just try new things and just be who I wanted to be.

Time passed me by and suddenly I realized that I would soon be back on the plane to Germany. Since I didn't want to say goodbye to everything yet, I decided to extend my stay by a month. But unexpectedly, this plan was linked to a new challenge: a host family change. At first this was a real shock for me as I got on really well with my host family and they had told me almost every day that they wished I would stay longer. However, this was no longer possible due to family problems. After many conversations with the local contacts and the sad farewell to the host siblings and the host parents, I finally moved into a new family for the last month. They welcomed me with open arms and after only two days I had the feeling that I had known my two very young host parents and their nine-month-old baby for ages.

Otherwise, the fourth month of my student exchange in Canada was a very unforgettable one, without which my stay would have had only half as many impressions and experiences. In an athletics competition I managed to secure first place in the high jump for my school and so I was able to experience the school spirit firsthand. Then I was honored with an award at an award ceremony in the school and so my school days ended with a dreamlike feeling.

Shortly before my flight home, I spent a few wonderful days in a camp with other exchange students in the neighboring province of Ontario. So I was able to see a little more of Canada in the last few days and at the same time be with my friends, who had become so dear to my heart.

Back in Winnipeg there was only time for a farewell party, to pack my things and say goodbye. The tearful farewell in Winnipeg was much more difficult for me than the farewell to Germany, even if I was of course looking forward to my family and friends at home.

I still have a lot of contact with my two families and my friends in Canada and my friends from Germany and all over the world who I got to know there. I don't want to miss these friendships and one day I will definitely visit one or the other. I am so happy that I pulled myself together back then and embarked on this adventure.

Thank you for the unique time that I will never forget!

Mareike Jacobsen

Transcona Collegiate Institute, Winnipeg, Manitoba January-May