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Geelong Lutheran College has been blessed to have short-term exchange student Florian Klein as part of our Armstrong Creek community for the opening term of 2019. Florian is 15 years old and usually lives with his parents and brother in Deggendorf, Bavaria, about two hours from Munich. A Year 9 student when in Germany, Florian participates in tennis, mountain bike riding and track and field. He also enjoys being at home reading books of all genres, listening to music and spending time with his family. Florian is interested in political events across the world and is a member of a youth club at church. His father is a mechanical engineer, his mother a teacher and he has a nine-year old brother. GLC Marketing and Community Relations Officer, Wes Cusworth, spoke with Florian about his time at the College just prior to his return home. 

I hope you enjoyed your time in Australia Florian, more specifically Geelong Lutheran College. Your English is so good, how much had you learnt before coming here?

We started learning English in Year three, but it was really just basic things like ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’, you may know that song. In Year 5 we started speaking English and we practised it a lot. We had four lessons per week and they were lessons that lasted 45 minutes each. 

What have you made of Geelong Lutheran College?

First of all it was very interesting. It’s very different to Germany because here we use a lot of media. We use a lot of laptops and tablets, whereas in Germany we kind of struggle to use technology in our schools. For whatever reason some people think that the students might get distracted. I think there is a great community here, all the people really welcomed me and were pretty nice. Also the education is pretty good. There are some classes that I don’t see the point in, but then there are other classes that are pretty good. For example, we don’t have legal studies or media in Germany, at least not at my school. So I was really glad that I could experience those subjects at GLC.

Have you had the opportunity to form some good friendships?

Yes, I have. Originally I was in Year 10, but then I moved up one year level because I got bored. So I have friends in Year 10 as well as Year 11. Owen, my exchange partner, was already in a friend zone, so I made some friends there. It was pretty easy to find friends. I was able to find friends in different subjects and different classes.

How do you hope to use your developing knowledge of the English language?

I think English is the most important language in the world because everybody uses it in business and communication. It is very important with the globalisation that we have at the moment, because I know that you will need English later in your life in any career that you want to do.

What do you hope to do?

I have thought about studying medicine. I have also thought about leaving Germany and doing some voluntary work in somewhere like Africa. There is a program called Doctors Without Borders and I have thought about doing that.

What will be the biggest thing that you will take away from your experience at Geelong Lutheran College?

I think it will be the self-sufficiency that you develop when you are in a different country and in a different family. Also the different perspectives that you get to know. I think I have become a lot more independent because I have had to do a lot more on my own. I think that’s a good thing.