Simon M., 16 years old
Type of holiday: Language holiday
Distination: Boston (USA)
Duration: 3 weeks in June
Where did you travel to and how long did you stay there?
Simon: I went on a language trip to Boston for three weeks. It’s located in the US state of Massachusetts on the East Coast. The language school was right in the heart of the city center so you could wander right into the city during breaks or straight after school and explore lots without having too much of a plan. I didn’t really plan what to see. You can also see a lot of Boston on foot, for example on the so-called “Freedom Trails.”
Where did you stay during your travels?
Simon: I stayed with a nice host family along with another language school student, Tom from Vienna, who I hadn’t met before. They didn’t live right in the city center, but in Boston everything is really easy and laid back – including the public transport.
When I’m finally 18, I’ll want a bit more freedom and I’ll stay in a hostel or an apartment.
What was the highlight of your trip?
Simon: There were actually several. It was really good for me and my English to be in a place where the language is actually spoken. And because of all the good schools there, there are lots of young people in Boston from all over the world and everyone seems to be more open and I had the confidence to just talk to them. Most of the others in my class were also pretty cool. We’re still in touch!
Excellent links between the big city and the sea
I thought the link between the city and its location right on the Atlantic was brilliant, I can only dream of that at home.
No matter where you are in Boston, you can be at the harbor or even on the beach within a short space of time. They’re not exactly Caribbean-style beaches to be sure. But great for chilling out and meeting people.
The elite schools in Cambridge
Cambridge is probably a name you’ve heard before; it’s a suburb of Boston, and two of the best universities in the world can be found there: Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). We spent a whole day there with our language teacher and took a tour of the Harvard campus. It looks exactly as it does in the films, students were lying everywhere on the meadows and studying and chilling out, or walking around from lecture to lecture with stacks of books under their arms.
The buildings are all very old and impressive and they even have their own shops there and cafés and a chapel ...
I think the students there are all very proud that they are studying there. That’s why they wear jumpers and caps and everything you can think of with “Harvard University” emblazoned on them.
Encounter with the Red Sox
I’m a massive European soccer fan. But you can forget about that in the USA. As I love sport in general, it was simply an unforgettable experience for me to be at a Boston Red Sox game in person. It’s a major league baseball team and they play in Fenway Park, possibly the oldest baseball stadium where the game is still played.
To get tickets you need some luck or the help of someone in the know.
And eventually a teacher from the language school helped me and my buddy Tom. A lot of my spending money went on the ticket but it was so worth it. An amazing atmosphere there!
Was there something you weren't too keen on?
Simon: Not a lot. OK, the weather is pretty much the same as it is at home and a warmer destination might have been better. And I didn’t have unlimited amounts of time to discover the city and surroundings because of the studying I needed to do at the language school. I would have loved to travel the 300 km to New York, but next time I go, I’ll definitely add an extra week’s holiday for traveling!
What else would you like to tell us about your journey?
Simon: I thought it was great that you can really see that Boston is a student city through and through. There are lots of young people there, and by the time I visited Cambridge I knew I definitely want to be a student. Life on campus is cool and I think there’ll be one or two parties to go to ...!