Germany V England
So, you think England is this best country ever? Do you think anywhere could compare? Could Germany compare? Expect you’re pretty certain that the answer is no, so let’s find out…
InSITE talked with two students; a German student studying here in Hereford and an English student who has travelled to Hereford’s quaint German twin-town of Dillenburg. Both have experienced life in England and in Germany: they dish the dirt and tell InSITE which country really does rule!
Katrin: In Germany, the day starts and finishes much earlier than in England, it’s much more efficient. We begin at 8 in the morning and finish at half two, with only two 15 minutes break in the day. In England, we have to spend a long time at lunch which means that we get home a lot later, and still have lots of work to do. However, it is great because I can go to lunchtime clubs that don’t exist in Germany, like debating society and discussion groups.
Becky: I agree, college and school in England is quite inefficient as we get home so late. Usually, we then have a lot of work which seems to drag on during the evening. It gets so late before you stop working and it makes me really tired during the week!
K: We have to study a baccelerate instead of A-levels in Germany. Most subjects are compulsory including: maths, sciences, English, religious studies, P.E, at least one language and either music or art. Then you can take other options as well as these. I prefer the English system as it means you can really concentrate on the subjects you enjoy and will need for later in life.
B: I think we are lucky to be able to have the system that we do have in England. Most would agree that it’s great to be able to leave behind the subjects you hate when you go to college, whereas in most parts of Europe these dreaded subjects are still compulsory.
K: Festivals very popular in Germany and take place all year round. There are three main festivals: Karneval which is in early February for one week; Maifest from 4th May until mid-June and Oktober Festival which is biggest in Munich. The carnivals are amazing and keep old customs alive like throwing sweets, and traditional dancing. The festival in May lasts for six weeks and consists of a huge dance ball every weekend!! There is nothing like this in Hereford!
B: Halloween holds typical traditions like trick or treating and there's late night shopping around Christmas time; but it is mainly based around American culture and not our own. England has definitely been influenced and many of our well-known customs are being left behind!
K: Social life in Germany is great; with festivals all year around it’s never quiet! There are lots of youth clubs and the legal drinking age is at 16, which makes it much easier to go out with friends during the weekend.
B: Waiting until we are 18 can be very annoying for young people in England and in Hereford in particular as there is never much going on which doesn’t involve having to be eighteen. There is an age gap from about 14 to 18 which young people are left with nothing to do at the weekends as we have grown out of things like the roller discos and bowling, but can’t go to gigs and nightclubs most of the time because we are too young!