Returning Home to Germany

Authored By:

Mohamed-Amin Z.

Hi folks!

I have arrived in Germany safe, and already started to figure life out over here. So many things are different here, and I still have to get used to these.

So let’s start at the beginning of the leaving process: My last few weeks have been super strange because the end of my exchange year was coming closer and closer. It started feeling weird when I started to plan my farewell party. I invited all my friends to the beach, we had an awesome evening including sunset.

I also started worrying about packing all the things I had collected over the past 10 months. I am telling you it was so hard for me to figure that out. Fortunately, our neighbors in the U.S. had already taken one luggage of mine with them, and gave it to my family in Germany. I had to leave a bag of clothes at my host family’s house but I was able to pack everything important in my bags to take with me.

Then the day came. June the 15th a Saturday. All my things were packed my room was empty, and I was extremely nervous. We drove to the airport to meet two other CBYX exchange students there. I didn’t really realize what was about to happen. I had to say goodbye for an unknown period of time. I hugged my host mom, and then we left. I walked through security still not realizing the situation. At the gate everything was still fine but then as soon as the airplane was boarded, the doors were closed, and we started to move I couldn’t hold it. I started crying and couldn’t stop. The best year of my life has ended. I left my family and friends. I left my home. I flew to Washington DC first to meet there all other CBYX exchange students. We flew all together from there to Frankfurt where I live. I got excited to see my family again, and I wondered how it was going to be.

Then I arrived and walked out the door to my family. I hugged them but it was so unfamiliar at first. Then as we go it got better, and we started to use old inside jokes. From that day on, everything was new to me, and I had to find my groove again. I went to school for a few days to see friends which was alright. Some of my friends have moved on, and some left a spot for me. I visited other places like my old job too. Seeing all the people from before the year abroad was very weird. Some didn’t even realize that it was me because I changed so much physically.

So many things happened, and I was prepared to handle those - thanks to CIEE! I definitely lived through or am still in reversed culture shock. Drinking water out of bottles? Riding a bicycle? Paying cash? All those things are different in the U.S., and I have gotten used to the U.S. way.

I think I as a person have changed a lot since I am here. I am more careful with who I surround myself with, and I am more cautious with saying things because I believe that Germans can be a little over sensitive compared to Americans. I just am not able to be 100% myself even though I can be 100% myself in Seattle. However, everything is going good. My family is getting used to me, and I am getting used to them. We are on vacation in Morocco right now. My life from now on will still be very adventures because I will go to a boarding school for my last three years of Highschool.

A few special thanks to: Karin - the best host mother in the universe, Jennie - the best Local Coordinator in the universe, Taran - the best head tech in the universe and Angalina - the best best friend in the universe. Thanks to CIEE. Thanks to the BUBW Baltimore 2019 Team.

This year has been so memorable and awesome, I can’t even explain in words. Writing this made me tear up.

Thanks for reading my blog posts I hope it was/is helpful for someone out there.

Good bye!

Bonus (for all the cat lovers in the office):

My foster cat Dahlia (See blog post: My Foster Cat Dahlia) got adopted. I had her for a few months, and I enjoyed having her a lot. She finally found her forever home, and is very happy there.

I also went to prom on the second to last weekend of my time in the US. I will add some pictures to the blog post.