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Being an exchange student

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Being an exchange student

Charlotte Schaefer

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Being an exchange student could be one of the biggest adventures in your life. Not only will you learn a new language, but you have the opportunity to have a second life on the other side of the world.

I am Charlotte Schaefer and I am 5600 miles away from my home, Berlin, Germany, and all my family, my friends, my school, and my normal life. I decided to embark on this exchange because I wanted to speak another language fluently. I wanted something different. I am here with an organisation called Education First (EF), and started planning my exchange year in summer of 2017. On July 18, 2018, I came to the U.S.I was really scared to say goodbye to my family and friends for a whole year, but I was also very excited for all the adventures in the next eleven months.

 

A big part of being an exchange student is homesickness. That is also the part that scared me the most. But you have to learn that it is a normal feeling and you have to learn how to live with it, since you are apart from your family for such a long time. I also recommend to have no expectations for how it is going to go and just allow yourself to experience everything. When I was younger, I always dreamed of going to America. It was always another world for me. Everything was bigger and I always wanted to go to a real American high school, like in the movies.

I think a very big lesson that I learned the last eight months is that I always have to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. This is why I recommend going on exchange/studying abroad because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

You could visit, for example, a European school. They are really different from here. You are able to make new friends, try new food, go to another school, learn more about another culture, and speak another language. The last thing I want to say about exchanges is that the girl that left Berlin, Germany in the summer of 2018 will never come back, because she is a completely different person  with a second life on the other side of the world. She learned so much the last eleven months and made so many memories.

 

About the Writer
Charlotte Schaefer, Staff Writer

Charlotte Schaefer is a junior this year at Fossil Ridge. She is a sixteen-year-old exchange student from Berlin, Germany. It is her first year in Fort...

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Being an exchange student