We received the latest update from our Rotary Exchange Student, Bella Sinclair, who is currently in Austria. Below are her comments.
Hallo nochmal!
Wow! This month has flown by!
My favourite food category is now at a deadlock between a Döner and Gulaschsuppe. My favourite words of the month are schmitterling, entchuldigung, los and bitte. I like ‘schmitterling’ and ‘entschuldigung’ because of the way they sound, ‘los’ because of how cute it is and ‘bitte’ because you can use it in so many different situations.
Entschuldigung also has a bit of a back story, whenever Greta my youngest host sister would be hyper and jumping all over my I would say it. Now she comes up to me and says entschuldigung and we just start laughing, it’s so cute.
The month started off with me being sick which wasn’t too nice but even then, I still made some good memories. For example, I played DKT which is an Austrian version of monopoly and drum roll please ... I won! During this period almost my whole family was sick so we spent our sick days watching movies in German which was also nice.               
Before I left on my language camp, I also continued introducing marmite to guests that came over and I’ve had mixed reactions. No one seems to love it but one guy – Jakob – said it was okay and he didn’t mind it, while on the other hand one of Mia’s friends jumped up and rushed to the bin hahaha.
I also made my first ever snow man this month with Leander and Greta Which was so much fun. We even topped it off with my beanie in celebration.
I’m still helping out around the house whenever I can. For example, I made veggie quesadillas because my host mum is vegetarian and everyone loved them so much they went back for seconds and thirds.
I’ve been skiing again and Kenneth it’s still as amazing as ever! I also continued the tradition of having Gulaschsuppe for lunch while on the slopes.
Now onto the language camp. Before I went, I just wanted to stay in Bizau because I was having such a good time but now, I can confidently say it was so amazing and helped me immensely with my German. I also made some amazing lifelong friends and created some pretty awesome memories.
In the first week I went for a run every morning to explore Bad Fischau (the small town we were staying in) and it was so amazing. I loved everything about it. The town was so süß (cute), the houses were all colourful and there was a nice little forest close by with an amazing lookout point.
Classes went from 9-3 Monday through to Friday and in our free time we hung out with each other and either explored the town, practised some German, relaxed or went to Wiener Neustadt a slightly bigger neighbouring town.
I had my birthday while I was on the language camp (February the 12th) and it was so great. They got me a cake and flowers and sang happy birthday to me. My friends also got me some capsicums and blueberries and made a little capsicum cup and filled it with blueberries because lately I have been loving both of them.
The weekend was amazing! On Saturday we went for a hike in in Semmering and it was so much fun. We threw snowballs and when my hands were about to freeze off I wrapped them up in Milly’s really warm scarf. I also slipped on a bit of ice, now that I look back it’s really funny and I’m sure it looked quite comical too but it really hurt hahaha. On Sunday we went to Vienna and OMG it is so beautiful! We walked around the city during the afternoon and at night went ice skating. This was one of my favourite nights because it was filled with so much happiness and laughter.
The last week flew by but I continued to learn so much and overall have an amazing time. For example, one evening we went to the sauna just down the road which was a really cool experience. I did lots of yoga and even managed to turn some of the other girls into yogies too. On the last night we had a really fancy dinner where we had a 5 course meal and then a bit of a celebration afterwards.
By the time I came home I was sad to leave everyone from the past 2 weeks behind but excited to get home and see everyone again. On the car ride home I put all my German learning to the test and only spoke in German to explain to my host mum everything that had happened over the last couple of weeks. It made me really happy because it was then that I realised how much I gained from those two weeks and how much I’ve already improved in such a small time. Now, I only speak German with my family which is amazing and I’ve found that it’s really good because my youngest sister can’t speak English so now I can communicate with her more. Because I understand more we have been having so much fun together and we’re real buddies now. For example, the other day at lunch she kicked Leander (my brother) out of his usual seat so I could sit next to her hahaha it was so funny. Also the other night we got some fresh snow so we made a snowman, had a snow ball fight and made snow angels it was really fun! I love my family so much I know it will be really hard to leave them but I know we will keep in touch.
In the week I’ve been back home so much has already happened. For example Fasching, which is a big event here and is sort of like Halloween. A few things that happened in the spirit of Fasching was that I went to a Fasching parade with my host family and saw heaps of cool floats and dressed up marching bands, I also went to a Fasching party a few towns over with my friends which was so much fun and lastly my class had a gender swap day in school where the guys dressed up as girls and the girls as guys which was hilarious! We then had to perform a dance in front of the school and my class did ours to “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé. This was the cherry on top of the cake! Today I’m going to a bonfire with some friends which should be fun as well.
I also caught up with Hannah and we made apple strudel together which was so much fun. I also met her friend Andreas and he’s a DJ and I found out he’s a pretty big deal in this area. We talked about music and our favourite songs and stuff so that was really cool too.
Thank you so much, Bella