Students experiences cultural exchange

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, February 12, 2009

Being an exchange student in the United States has been the best experience I have had so far in my life, and I have no regrets to venture this step.

I got the idea to become an exchange student in the USA years ago because the country fascinated me by its size and freedom. It also fascinated me by its friendly people, a fact that I discovered when I visited twice with my father.

To apply as an exchange student, I had to do different assignments, so the organization could get to know my personality and academic ability. These assignments were fun for me because I knew that they would lead me to my goal-and indeed they did.

Though I had some fear about being in a different country without my friends and family, my happiness far outweighed my fear. Then came the day that I had to say goodbye to my parents, family and friends who had been so supportive. During my flight to the USA, several questions went through my head like what I should say when I met my host parents at the airport or if I would have to ask to use the fridge or get a drink. But my new family welcomed me in such a nice way, I did not have any worries about anything that had worried me before I left Germany.

The next problem I had was that I didn’t understand everything completely in English. It is different speaking English all day with Americans than speaking English one hour per day at a German high school. But it is getting better each day.

My next challenge was facing my new American high school. I wondered how the students and teachers would treat me. But, again, all the worries were for no reason. From the first day at Shelby County High School, everybody wanted to help me become a part of my new school. It is not hard to talk with other students because everybody is quite interested in asking questions about my life in Germany.

I am fascinated by the school-spirit. In Germany we do not have sports team at school. Athletes have to join a club team. It is a new experience that everyone supports and identifies with SCHS sports teams.

My life in America is so varied and exciting that I have almost forgotten I have been here for almost five months. These fvie months have been some of the best of my life, and I think the following months will be even better.