(A Harmony Day speech spoken by Jess at her school assembly)
I stand in front of plenty of pictures I took during my life here and my life in Germany. Since I am here, I had lots of great experience with my Australian and international friends. Be it in school or out of school. Both lives are different, but also have similarities. While we have -5 degrees in Germany right now, here I’m freezing in 18 degrees in the morning. My schools in Germany are different, but I learned a lot for my character and my intercultural understanding.
Now I want to tell you a story about my first day at school.
Someone forget to tell me that I had to go to school, so I was lying in my bed, watching Netflix and immediately had to hurry to school. I arrived here completely over-strained but despite my expectations everyone treated me as I would be one of them right away. No one looked at me weird for being German. Every time I needed help because of my language, I received help. I never felt alone, because my friends helped me without knowing me properly and without knowing my situation as an exchange student. My homesickness during the first weeks, turned out to be less and less a problem, because I totally felt welcome here.
I’ve been here for 55 days, and I am still trying to learn the Australian lifestyle. I’m impressed how even street artists can talk to random people and get friendly responses. The amount of acceptation in this country is great. Asians, Africans, Americans, Europeans, and Australians live hand in hand together and accept each other.
Thank you for making me an equal part of this school!
Thank you for making me feel welcome!
Thank you for your intercultural acceptance!
Thank you for not judging anyone because of their religion!
Thank you for listening to me!