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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Letter to the Editor
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Exchange student a world away

On Aug. 2, I left my family, my friends and my home in Germany. My exchange year in a strange country with a different culture and language started. Now I was on my own.

At this time I ask myself, ? Oh, why are you doing this?? Being independent, learning how to get on with people you do not know and get to know a new culture were the most important reasons for me.

But suddenly I only thought at my fears, fears about my host family, the language and the new school. But in the last hours of my trip, I felt too tired to think at everything.

When I met my host family at the airport, I felt better and very welcomed. ?Most things are not so difficult as they seem to be,? my brother Christof has told me.

Last year he did an exchange in Fresno. Now he is back at home and goes to his old school. He encouraged me to do an exchange as well and helped me with his experiences.

In the first night in the United States I slept very well and, on the next day, I prepared for a next trip. My American parents, Greg and Geena Stobbe, had proposed me to go camping with the whole family.

We went for five days to Kings Canyon National Park. I loved it! We visited the Sequoia trees and I saw a lot of the wonderful nature of the Sequoia National Park as well.

Unfortunately we did not see bears. I would like to see bears because in Germany we have not bears in the wild. Anyway that was a good start and while camping I got to know my host family better. I got three new sisters and wonderful parents. Now, I have two families, which is a really good feeling.

After this time of fun and rest I had my first real American experience: TPing. Christof has told me about it but I was really overwhelmed. One old chair stood on the top of the roof and one in front of the garage and there was toilet paper everywhere.

It took a lot of energy to clean everything and there is still toilet paper in the top of a tree. Maybe I will do TPing in Germany as well.

Then a few days later school started. I felt nervous on my first school day. But everyone welcomed me friendly and after the first week. I felt like a normal student.

School here in the United States is different and it takes time to get used to everything.

The first weeks at school I did not understand everything in class and doing my homework took a lot of time.

But now speaking English makes me not frustrating anymore. I even used English words when I talked to my parents on the phone.

I know that an exchange year is a wonderful experience, which you will never forget; I am looking forward to next months here in the United States.

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