I am really grateful that my host family lets me be part of their family for one year
It has been exactly 140 days since I started this long journey at the airport in Berlin. I started with a big suitcase and a lot of questions and thoughts in my head. How will it be? Will they be able to understand me? Or can I even understand them? How will it be in my host family? Will I have a culture shock?
I left my family at the airport with one crying and one laughing eye, knowing that I’ll see them in 10 months again. I was excited, curios but also nervous.
My time started with a three day orientation in New York City: It was an amazing time, I saw a lot of New York and I became friends with so many new people from different countries with which I still hold contact.
From New York I flew over Charlotte to Charleston, in the smallest plane I’ve ever seen, where I was hearty welcomed by my host mom.
The weeks that followed were really exciting, full of meeting new people, visiting new beautiful places, and getting to know wild and wonderful West Virginia. But they were also exhausting because speaking another language and having to understand it makes you really tired, and you also have to adjust to the new culture.
But with time comes routine; I made a lot of new friends, had my first thoughts and dreams in English and became more and more fluent in English, got adjusted to the American culture, visited amazing places and did great things with my host family; we visited a coalmine, hiked to the New River George Bridge, did a bike tour in Virginia, did a steam train tour through the Durbin Mountains, went to a lake, visited Charleston and celebrated Thanksgiving in Tennessee.
I also cooked some German dishes for my host family, went to football games of my school, dressed up during homecoming week, celebrated Halloween, played with my host sister, went to a pumpkin patch, and to an escape room.
I joined the Basketball team at my school and MUN, where I even had my first mock and represented Germany.
I also got the chance to visit the Niagara Falls and Kings Island with ICES and I had an amazing time on both trips, also knowing that many trips will follow.
All in all, I had really amazing 140 days. I am really grateful that my host family lets me be part of their family for one year, does so many great things with me, and cares for me like I’m their own child. I am really happy that I got the chance to make this wonderful experience and look forward to the other 7 months.
I am really happy that I got the chance to make this wonderful experience and look forward to the other 7 months.
exchange student from Germany
living with the Cantley family in Daniels, West Virginia