e-pal: austria

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2007, 12:00am

Connecting with teens around the world

Name Marlene Breier

Age 15

City Vienna

Star sign Libra

I'm an AFS exchange student from Vienna, Austria, currently living with my host family in Tsing Yi.

Vienna is a beautiful city, surrounded by wonderful countryside. We get short, heavy rainstorms in the summer but it's still warm. In winter it may snow, but it's still very sunny.

Vienna is known for its arts and culture, but what I like most about my country is its peace and calm.

The most important festival in my country is Christmas. The whole family comes together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Teenagers in Austria can be separated into two groups. There are those who care more about partying than school. Then there are those who are responsible and care about their future.

When I'm out with my friends, we either go dancing or shopping. We also like going to the movies and sitting in Starbucks. I also play a lot of tennis.

I go to the Hertha Firnberg Schulen, which specialises in tourism and economics. Our school expects a lot from the students and we have to work hard.

I study 14 subjects, mostly taught in English. We learn four languages: German, my first language, English, French and Spanish. I've stayed with host families in England and France, so that I could improve on those languages. I've been to Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Italy and Cyprus with my family.

But as much as I enjoy travelling, I like spending time with my family and friends.

I would describe myself as a confident, outgoing person. I like to meet new people and see new places. Music is very important to me and my favourite genre is rock. I normally watch comedies, but I also like films about high school life and horror movies.

My family tries to eat together at least once a day. For dinner, we normally have fish or meat with rice, pasta, potatoes or vegetables. I don't have to cook but I like preparing desserts. My only pets are an eight-year-old cat called Mauna and some fish in the garden pool. Sadly, Mauna likes to eat those fish.

It's hard to find an idol because many people have done great things. But Marie Antoinette really inspired me. She was a strong personality who said what she thought, which is important.

I don't think about the future too much. First I want to graduate and then I'll probably keep on studying, maybe journalism.

This is my first time in Asia. I'm very interested in the cultures and languages. I think Hong Kong is a city of dreams and I hope that one of my dreams will come true here. I'm studying at Buddhist Sin Tak College and I'm sure this will be a great exchange year.