Wednesday, 16 August 2017


Hi everyone!!

There is no way that I have finished my Euro tour blog posts but its super hard to find the time to sit down and write for hours! I just thought I should give a short update on my life right now and for the past few weeks. Today is the third day back at school after 6 weeks of summer holidays. During this period I spent the first few weeks hardly at home as I travelled around the district saying goodbye to my second family (the other exchange students). I also went to many wine festivals with my host family which was really really cool to experience as they are really famous for the region I live in Rhineland Pfalz.

I was at the swimming pool a couple of times with a friend from school and also with my host sister. Unfortunately I don't have any photos from this.

 My host parents took me to visit 'Heidelburg' which is a really beautiful town, with a stunning stunning castle.

I also visited one of the Bad Dürkheim's castles which was also super!

At the end of July I took a trip with my host sister Franzi to Wissembourg in France for the day!! It was a spontaneous and really cool trip, where we walked through a church and ate ice-cream.

Then on the 2nd of August I travelled to Frankfurt with my first host family and my YEO to meet the new exchange student thats coming to my town. It was super nice to meet her :)

On Friday the 4th I took a Flixbus to Switzerland to visit Wilco. This was super amazing to experience Switzerland, however I quickly realised how expensive it was!!
Sunset on my first night in Switzerland

Altstadt Zug (Old town Zug, Switzerland)

Today is my third day back at school, and although I have the same classes with the same people, I received a new timetable with new classrooms. I am now in the equivalent of Year 13 in New Zealand, so the work load for this half year is quite a lot, and although I do try to do the work, its super nice knowing that I don't have to do any tests or anything. And also with all of the 'Oldies' from my district now back in their home countries, I'm now the one oldie for our district. And although I have only met Kauane, the Brazilian exchange student I am super super excited to meet the rest of them at their 'First Orientation' in September. 

Last week I also signed up for second Language Course to help me improve my German further. This time I will be working towards a B1 certificate. 

Jasmine x (next time I will hopefully have found time to finish off my Euro tour blog post) 

Monday, 17 July 2017

Europe Tour Part 2


After a really really long bus ride lat night we had finally arrived in at Pont du Gard. The Pont du Gard is an aquaduct located in the South of France. It is the highest of all ancient Roman aqueducts, so it was spectacular to see.
Pont du Gard

We then continued on to Avignon. Once we arrived we were given a bit of free time to relax before we began to explore the city. This city was truly something that I had never seen before in my life, it was so beautiful. 


During the trip to Barcelona we had a short stop in Carcasonne to break up the long drive. There we experienced an amazing medieval town. 

In the late afternoon we arrived in Barcelona, and everyone was super excited because for many of us this was the first time we had seen the sea and the beach in a long time. Our accommodation (which I unfortunately don't have a photo of) was in very cute small batches. I was rooming with all my best friends, Ana, Savannah, Lindsey, Kate and Maddy so I was super super happy!


Today we spent the day looking around Barcelona. We began our day by driving to Park Güell a really famous park in Barcelona. From pictures I had seen this one of the many places I was most excited for on the Europe Tour. Although the sculptures were very beautiful, I found the atmosphere was completely different to what I expected as it was jam packed full of people. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon looking around Barcelonas city. 


Today we were given the option to go back into Barcelona for the day or to spend the day at the beach near our accommodation. I decided to stay at the beach. At 10 am Kate and I headed to the beach for a long awaited swim in the Mediterranean. It was super super cold but totally worth it. 


Today we hopped on the bus yet again to travel across the border back into France. After a drive which felt like it took years (Around 7 hours) we arrived in Nice, and the city was beautiful. Unfortunately the sun quickly went under so we didn't get to see much of the town, but this  definitely gives me a reason to come back to France. 

Thats all for now, and hopefully the next blog post will be posted in the next few days. 

Until then!!

Jasmine x

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Europe Tour Part 1

Hey again! I have been extremely busy the past few weeks having the Euro tour and then changing host families so this is the first chance I've had to properly sit down and write. And just a warning in advance, in order to explain how incredible the Europe tour is, this post may end up being extremely long but we'll see how it goes. 

I keep repeating this sentence but the past three weeks between the 3rd of April until the 25th of April have been the best of my entire life. Over these three weeks I travelled in a double decker bus, for over 6000 km, through Luxemburg, France, Spain, Monoco, Italy, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic, eighteen different cities along with 63 exchange students from all over the world. I find the very fact that people, who were merely strangers coming from the all different sides of the world can become like family members in a matter of weeks absolutely astounding, and this is exactly what happened with the group of people I travelled with. I am struggling to find the words to describe how wonderful this experience has been, no words could ever describe how perfect the time spent was. The entirety of the trip still feels like a dream, as the places I have seen previous to the trip were merely pictures on postcards and now I have seen them in real life.  Every city I visited was breathtakingly beautiful in its own way, the food was absolutely amazing and it was great to try some of the local delicacies such as escargot in Paris and Paella in Barcelona.


The Europe tour began in Heidelburg, a town that is only an hour away from Landau. There we brought our suitcases into the hotel and were promptly met by all of the exchange students that we would be spending the next three weeks with. We were in by 10:30 pm as the next day was going to be super long.

Ana, myself, Lindsay and Sav  


Our bus arrived in Heidelburg at approximately 9am in which we began our journey to Luxemburg. I was beyond excited as this was the beginning of something I had never experienced before, physically driving to another country! And to make it even cooler, I was sitting with three of my best friends. The bus ride felt like it took forever as I really wanted to get there quickly as I wanted to start exploring as soon as possible. As we entered Luxemburg I was shocked to find that nearly everybody walking the streets were wearing suits and dresses, it was so classy and cool! Once we left the bus we were allowed to sightsee the city by ourselves and quite frankly we had no idea were to go or what to do! So our time in Luxemburg was just following our instinct. After a few in Luxemburg, we hopped on the bus for a 4 hour journey headed for Paris.

Ana, Sav, myself, Jesus and Lindsay

Luxemburg streets 

We arrived at our hotel in Paris at around 7:30pm. After dropping our stuff at the hotel, we walked straight to an Italian restaurant for dinner. We didn’t see much of the city today, but catching a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower as we were driving was exciting!

At the Italian restaurant 


Today was a very full on day. We began by walking around Paris and seeing what Paris is all about. I had no idea what to expect of the Eiffel Tower, but once we were up close, I was blown away, it was so much larger than I expected and it was so cool to see in real life. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Gui and I in front of the Eiffel Tower

Lindsay and I

Eiffel Tower 


After a bucket load of picture taking we made our way to a boat cruise on the River Seine. This was a whole lot better than I expected, as we were able to see many stunning old buildings from a different perspective.

Once we had a few hours of free time, where a large group of us tried escargot for the first time in France, we met the entire group again and visited the world famous Louvre. The walk to the Louvre museum was so beautiful. We took the typical tourist photos in front of the Lourve and moved on.

Later in the evening we caught the train to the Moulin Rouge.

Moulin Rouge


Today we had to wake up early as we had to pack our bags for leaving this evening. Once we had packed the bus, we were given some free time to explore by ourselves. Previous to the Euro tour it was suggested that we visit the Paris Catacombs and thats exactly what we did today! After waiting 2 and a half hours in a long line, we walked down a thousand spiralling stairs straight into the Catacombs from where there is estimated to be between 6-7 million bodies dating back to 1786. It was truly fascinating to see in person. 

In the evening all of us met under the Eiffel Tower to either walk up or take the lift up. I chose to walk up with a few others and it was truly beautiful to see Paris from above. 

It's taking a lot longer to write these blog posts then I expected so I'm going to do the Euro tour in parts so this concludes this one. Additionally to this half of the original blog post deleted so I will have to write it again, so apologies!

Tchüss for now!

Jasmine x

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Saarbrücken x 2 +Wolfsburg

Hey guys! The past month I haven’t had a single weekend where I have been at home, which has been insane but also very very very tiring. The first weekend of March (3-4th) I had the weekend in Eisenburg with all of the other exchange students which I explained in my last post, but two words it was ‘super fun!’.

The second weekend of March (11th-12th ) myself along with two other exchange students, Lindsay (RYE from America) and Savannah (RYE from Taiwan) who I  had met at the previous weekend, organized to meet up in Saarbrücken for the weekend.  It was a lot of fun spending time a different city to my own with more shops and different sites to see! We spent some time in a beautiful church in the middle of Saarbrucken and I have to say I will never get tired of exploring churches because it is so different to what we have back in New Zealand. I also have to mention that the 4 Euros I spent on noodles and an ice-cream was definitely money not wasted, I absolutely adored this food!! After a Mexican dinner of nachos we caught a train and then a bus back to Lindsay’s house for the night. Her host parents were lovely and again it was so cool to spend some time in another Rotary family.

Inside a beautiful church

Lindsay, Myself and Savannah 

The next weekend started early for me as my school had two days off, which worked perfectly as I was able to once again travel to Saarbrücken on Thursday to meet a friend that I had actually met in Queenstown. We met through school, as she was an exchange student from Germany on a two month exchange to New Zealand. For me to comprehend that I was seeing someone that I had met a few months previous to my exchange was kinda mind blowing. Once I arrived in Saarbrucken on the FLIXBUS (highly recommend this company for cheap travel- it cost me 10 euros to get to Saarbrücken and back) Laura and her Mum picked me up and went to a French baguette shop for lunch. It was delicious and I sat there thinking that it was crazy that I was around 15 minutes from France. This was very evident too, as we explored further as nearly every second person was speaking French. This whole concept of driving to another country for an afternoon of shopping is absolutely crazy but so amazing!! After lunch Laura and I walked to the ‘Historisches Mueseum Saar’ which I found extremely interesting! Particulary the ruins of a castle that we had to go underground to see. The castle of Saarbrücken was first mentioned in German history in 999 AD. It’s appearance changed dramatically over the following years, due to different rulers and their preferences. Count Johann IV of Nassau-Saarbrucken strengthened the castle in the 16th century by adding ramparts (defensive wall) and bastions (extension of a special part of  wall to help aid defensive fire- to put it simply). Next came Count Ludwig who ordered the castle to actually be demolished,  and had a ‘Renaissance- style palace’ built in its place, and this happened in the 17th Century’. The moat and some of the defensive walls (fortification) is still present today.  This part of history is what is on display that I visited during my time in Saarbrücken. And quite frankly blown away by how much history was present ( being blown away seems to be a reoccurring them in my life here in Germany). It was so hard to believe that I was walking among castle ruins from the 13th century through to the 18th century. After the exciting afternoon of castle ruins exploring, we went to Laura’s grandma’s house were we ate a traditional Saarland dish, however presently I cannot for the life of me remember what it is called, oops. The next day Laura had school, so I went along with her to experience what it was like in another German school. This day was very hard for me as I did not understand what was going on probably 99% of the time, but that was ok it was cool to see Laura’s school and meet her friends. On Saturday following a large brekkie (including literal chocolate that you can put on bread- simply amazing) Laura and I went to the Saarbrücken Zoo. It was nice to see animals that I had never seen up close before such as pumas, jaguars and a range of lemurs just to name a few. However I was very surprised at the lack of space the animals had to move, and quite frankly it made me very angry. Seeing this fuelled my aspiration to get into Zoology in university, and to research these animals in the wild instead of seeing them locked in cages in the middle of the city. Seeing this zoo, I don’t think will stop me from visiting other zoo’s but it  has educated and influenced me to get into the preservation of animals in their natural habitat. After meeting Laura’s mum in Saarbrucken we drove around 45 minutes to a ‘famous bend in the river’ named the ‘Saarschleife’ it was awesome to see and have some pictures taken there. On Sunday after watching some insane downhill ski racing on TV- It was very very exciting I travelled back to Landau.



I love this old building 

Saarbrücken Zoo

Saarbrücken Zoo

On Saturday the 25th March my host dad, Werner picked me up and we travelled to the North of Germany once of again to visit Claude and her daughter Stella. We attended Claude’s Mum’s birthday and it was really nice to experience ‘Kaffee und Kuchen’ (Coffee and Cake) not to mention it was really delicious!!During the weekend there was very limited English spoken (only if I really didn’t understand something) which was great. Not everything that was being said I understood, but if I didn’t understand every word I understood the general concept of the conversation which was great. On Sunday it became very evident that spring has truly arrived as everybody sat outside for hours just enjoying the warmth of the sun, it was truly so good as its been nothing but cold since I arrived in Germany so its great to finally have some long awaited warmth.

Werner, Claude, Stella and myself 

Between the many trips that I have made this month I have been spending a lot of time hanging out with friends (both German and other exchange students) and my host family which has been awesome. School has been well, long. However I am not complaining, as I would never have the lovely people that I go to school with if I didn’t have to attend school. Next Monday I begin my Euro tour which I am SO excited for- I don’t have words to describe how fantastic this trip will be. Over 6000 km of travel , over 18 cities in Europe with 64 other exchange students. How could it get any better?!

That’s all for now, catch you after the Euro tour!!

Jasmine x