Conversations with students at Queen’s university

My name is Raphael, I come from Heiden in Appenzellerland and I am a qualified winemaker. This year I am doing the vocational high school at Strickhof. Strickhof is an agricultural school near Wintherthur. The vocational high school lasts one year, after that I can go to a University of Applied Sciences.  

To improve my English, I got the chance to speak with students from Queen’s (Canada). I talked with Liam. We did three sessions in the fall semester with 30 minutes German and 30 minutes English each. Twice we were given a topic which I could then prepare. The third time I was free to choose. One topic was the story “If sharks were people, by Bertolt Brecht”. At first, I thought it was a stupid topic, but during the conversation we talked about the story for a long time. It was exciting how he interpreted the story and then compared it with mine. 

We talked a lot about Corona. Topics like measures or how has it was managed by the university. Liam has been studying from home since just before Christmas, so he had to write many reports. First, he got an assignment to read most of a book and then summarize it. In university they had exams partly online. We both missed the face-to-face classes.      

When it was Christmas, of course we told each other how we celebrate. In his family it was a tradition that there was an extra gift. It always belonged to whoever was awake first in the morning. As a little boy, he always had a race with his sister to see who would get the gift first on Christmas morning. To stop this race, his father had to sleep in the room as the protector of the gifts.  

– Raphael, BM2 –

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