Michael L., 17 years old
Type of holiday: School exchange
Destination: Beijing & Shanghai (China)
Population: Beijing 11.5 million, Shanghai 14.3 million
Duration: 2 weeks

Michael, how did your exchange go and what was the most impressive experience?
Michael: I stayed with a host family for the first week and in the second week we travelled around. I was particularly impressed, a little cliché perhaps, by the Great Wall of China, it really is breathtaking!

And how did you like the food?
Michael: The eating habits in China were a little unusual. I don’t particularly like eating fried noodles for breakfast. The Chinese food there is not like what we know from restaurants here, it is really different. I even tried turtle and a piece of scorpion.

Interesting! What was that like?
Michael: The scorpion was deep fried and it just tasted salty and crispy. You can’t really taste much of the meat because the chitin shell is left on. It’s not really that tasty. And turtle tastes similar to fish.

How did you like living with the host family?
Michael: They were all very welcoming. We were staying with richer families, and they showed their wealth. When we went shopping they bought me everything, that was pretty extreme. They took very good care of us, it was great!

Were there also differences to school in Germany?
Michael: There are 50 children to a class there and the lessons are more like lectures with the teacher at the front with a microphone round their neck.

But you didn’t learn Chinese in that short time?
Michael: We spoke English all the time there, the Chinese are very good at it. I only learnt a few words of Chinese, I didn’t have time for any more. China is certainly a really interesting country though, there is so much to see, also culturally.