Monday, 16th April 2018 - Twenty students, two teachers and a bus driver, who had to put up with the excitement of everyone, arrived at Venice Airport. After getting through the security checks, which were filled with a mixture of anticipation and hysterical exclamations like "Who has seen my passport?", Class 6D and the teachers, Mr. Mirnig and Ms. Schöttl, finally found themselves on a plane to London Gatwick - all ready for a week in Eastbourne!
Pound Sterling, driving on the left, fish and chips ... Yeah, from day one we really got in touch with the stereotypes and manners of the British. Our daily 'routine' also reflected these to a good degree: Breakfasts and evening dinners with our host families, attending a real English school buzzing with hundreds of British kids of all ages in their typical uniforms, enjoying afternoon activities with the group together with staff members of the language school and orientating ourselves in a foreign city, which has a beautiful pier, by the way. It was all just a great experience. Maybe best of all was the amazing weather we had, probably the only untypical British thing we came across during the whole week.
But naturally we didn't only stay in Eastbourne, even though it is a really beautiful destination. The only thing there to watch out for – should you ever decide to visit this place - are the seagulls, which are always hungry and not averse to stealing your food!
During these seven days we saw many impressive places, like Beachy Head, the famous beacon off the picturesque white chalk cliffs, where we had an amazing view over Eastbourne and the South Downs. We were also taken to beautiful Brighton and the capital city of England, London, a cosmopolitan, fast and more crowdy but still pretty cool place everybody has to visit at least once in their lives.
Activities like golfing or enjoying a delicious fish and chips picnic at the beach of Eastbourne while trying to become invisible to the seagulls - which we surprisingly managed to - were great fun, too.
On the last day before we had to say goodbye to the UK, cream tea and scones were waiting for us in the idyllic village of Alfriston. There we got a first glimpse of the English tea culture and the right way to be part of it. This really showed us how those famous traditions are still appreciated and kept alive in England to this day.
Every cool trip comes to an end, and so did ours on April 23rd, when we finally wished our host families a last farewell, before getting onto the coach and heading to London Gatwick, this time to get back to Austria. At the airport we let the week fade away while enjoying the last plate of, more or less, English food.
In conclusion, we want to thank Mr. Mirnig and Ms. Schöttl for making this week possible and keeping their eyes on us for a whole week. It was an incredible trip on which we not only improved our English skills but also got into closer contact with a really impressive culture. We certainly won't ever forget it!