As I prepare for high school graduation, I never thought I’d be making a checklist like this:
- Get new passport
- Book one-way flight to D.C.
- Skype with my Host Family in Germany
I have craved international exposure for as long as I can remember. During high school I took German language courses every year in hopes that I could one day exercise my foreign language skills. When an alum of the CBYX program visited my German class early last year to share stories about her year spent studying abroad, her experience almost sounded too good to be true. I began researching how I might be able to make my dream of studying abroad a reality. The reputation of the program, (and the scholarship aspect), made studying abroad a goal that was easy for my parents to support. I worked with my counselor and school teachers to accelerate my studies. I submitted my application and made it through the application process. Now I am writing the first entry to my own CBYX story!
As the youngest of three children I grew up hearing stories about my mother’s upbringing in a small town in Germany. I often wondered what it would be like to live as she did (eating freshly baked Brötchen for breakfast, and riding a bicycle to school), and I will soon be able to find out!
I recently learned that my host family includes four young girls, so I will be taking on the role of a ‘big sister’. They live in a small town in Lower Saxony with a population that is approximately the same as the high school I currently attend, so I fully expect to experience a drastic change in lifestyle! This upcoming year abroad will not only allow me to learn about a different culture first-hand and perfect my German language skills, it will also enable me to share my culture with my host family (and fellow students) while striving to be the best U.S. ambassador I can possibly be.