e-pal: austria

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 February, 2008, 12:00am

Connecting with teens around the world

Name Clara Cordes

Age 18

City Schwechat

Star sign Leo/Snake

Vienna is the capital city of Austria. It is quite big and very culture-oriented.

The most important festival in my country is the Donauinselfest (Danube Island Festival). It's an annual open-air music festival in Vienna. It's free and usually happens on a weekend towards the end of June.

Schwechat is only about 15 minutes away from Vienna.

In school, I study many subjects, including maths, geography, philosophy, English, science and German.

Sadly, in Austria students don't get to choose many optional subjects. The only subjects I chose were Italian, Latin and music. In my opinion, one of the weak points in the Austrian education system is that students don't do sports in the morning. Therefore, they aren't 'properly awake' and focused on their work.

School life can be quite relaxed. But a lot depends on the teachers' attitude towards work. Some teachers want their students to do well in exams; others only care about assignments.

My first language is German. I have studied English since I was 10, so I don't have a problem with it.

But some students spend up to three hours a day on it.

I have a passion for languages and I also love science.

I usually spend time with my friends watching movies and reading anime. In addition to any sport that's extreme or unusual, I also enjoy ball games, such as basketball and football.

I like to listen to music and I also love to sing. I listen to anything from classical to mainstream pop and rock.

During the holidays, I usually stay at home. Sometimes my family decides to go to Italy or Greece, but that doesn't happen very often. I receive Euro70 (HK$790) pocket money each month, which I use to buy food and cinema or concert tickets. My mother usually takes me shopping and buys clothes for me.

Teenagers in Austria have a lot of freedom. It's fairly normal for teens to go out without telling their parents.