When I told my friends that I actually got accepted into this program, that I was actually going to Germany, they were happy for me. They were curious, too, and asked bunches of questions. A lot of those included questions about my host family. Would they have kids my age? Would they have pets? Are they getting paid? Where in Germany are they?
My answer to most of these questions (at the time) was it depends or I don‘t know. The one thing I did know about my host family, was that they were doing this voluntarily and they weren‘t getting paid. That they were doing this because they wanted to.
I couldn‘t have gotten a better host family. My host sister is super sweet and fun to be around, she‘s helped me so much at school with figuring out what I needed to do and where I needed to go. My host mom is so kind and makes sure I stay up to date on everything happening, as well as making sure I’m adjusting well. My host dad is super funny and welcoming, he‘s made sure I know my way around the house and has welcomed any questions I have. My host family has a dog, named Merlin, who has learned very fast that I‘ll give him attention whenever he wants it, even during Saturday breakfasts, a cat, who I thought for sure was lost one day when he ran out the gate (little did I know, even if the gate was closed he can jump it, and he’s free to come and go as he pleases), and a horse that my host sister rides.
The week started off great, my host family picked me up from the Schloß and we started getting to know each other in real life, instead of just over text. On Sonntag (Sunday), my host sister, Sina, and I met a friend of hers and we took the Bahn (train) to where our school is.
On Montag (Monday), I started school. It‘s challenging, of course, since it‘s in German, but my classmates and teachers are all very nice and willing to help me. School is very different here than in the U.S. which I really like. Instead of choosing your classes, you stay with your class for all classes except religion, and you have a different schedule each day.
On Dienstag (Tuesday), it was my first day where I would be going home earlier than my host sister. I got on the wrong bus and was very nearly panicking when I got off. Luckily, though, I called my host mom and she was able to come pick me up.
Mittwoch, Donnerstag, und Freitag (Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday), were all pretty normal, I would go to school in the morning and then come home. I rode around a little on my bike, which was fun, and it was all pretty simple.
On Samstag (Saturday), my host dad and I went to the Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Wolfsburg Fußballspiel (soccer game). It was one of the coolest experiences ever. Eintracht Frankfurt has some of the most insane fans I‘ve ever seen, there was one section of the stadium where the biggest fans were and they were waving at least 10 different flags around. The stadium was completely full and, if I remember correctly, there was 69,000 people there. One of the gifts I got from my host family was a Frankfurt kit, which I wore to the game.
After the game was over, I met Omar Marmoush, a soccer player for Wolfsburg and for the Egyptian National Team, and a family friend of my host dad. He was super nice and I got a picture with him. I just had to make sure I zipped up my jacket to not show the Frankfurt kit.
On Sonntag (Sunday), I went with my host sister and 2 of her friends to a carnival type thing that I forget the name of, in Frankfurt. It was tons of fun and I played a throwing game where I won 2 stuffed animals, a tiny snake and a white duck.
This week was school again, where I understood a little more than I did the first week. I can now pick words that I know out of a sentence when listening to someone speak. I also started playing volleyball in my town, which is a lot of fun. Then, last night, my host dad, a friend of his, and I went back to the Fußball stadium to see the women's team play München, which was just as much fun as seeing the mens game.
These last two weeks have been so much fun and it‘s been so great to actually be with my host family. Of course, I miss all the friends I made at the Schloß, but I keep in touch with them a lot, as well as my family back home. All in all, this has been a really great start to what I‘m sure will be a really great year!
Signing off for now,
P.S. I‘m going to do a Q&A post! The plan at the moment is to do one now, one at mid-year, and one at end-year. If you have questions about the program, my experience, or really just anything, please message me on Instagram (@rachel.abroad.blog). I‘ll try my best to answer all questions, and if I don‘t know the answer, I will find and ask someone who does!