The world opened its doors for me
(Student letter to the ICES Regional Director)
I just want to say thank you. Thank you for everything you have done for me!
It’s crazy but I am leaving Springfield in 4 days, even though it feels like I just landed on the airport and met you and my host family yesterday or walked through the doors of Glendale for the first day of high school.
When I left Germany I was excited and curious. I couldn’t wait to leave. The world opened its doors for me and I was just about to walk through. I didn’t cry when I left my family. I just said “See you in 10 months!” and it wasn’t hard at all to leave. I knew there would be some hard parts during my exchange year and they were, but never because of homesickness. I feel home here. It’s crazy but Springfield, Missouri is my home now and it always will be a part of me. I have family and friends here. But the day when I left Germany I had no idea how hard it will be to leave the US. I am scared that I won’t feel home in Germany anymore. I am scared that I just don’t fit in anymore. But how hard can it be? The hardest part should be leaving Germany and friends and family, right? but it is not. I had a great exchange year. It didn’t really feel like an exchange year. After a while it felt like home, like I am actually American. of course it wasn’t perfect. But it can’t be perfect and if it would be, it would be boring and I wouldn’t have grown as a person at all.
It took me a long time to understand and actually realize that the part of leaving and going back to your home country is a part of the exchange to. You just have 10 months and then you go back. I try not to be sad because my exchange isn’t over yet. When I am going back to Germany I want to try to inspire people to travel. I want to work with my exchange program and help them to give more people the opportunity to travel the world and to do an exchange year, because this year, I will never forget and this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, that I’m glad I took.
Rashmi is coming to Germany and she will stay with me and my family for three weeks. I am also planning on visiting the US next year and I hope I can meet you again and who knows maybe you’re having another exchange student from Germany.
Once again thank you. From me, my family in Germany and my family in the USA. I hope you keep doing your job and help students from all over the world so that they can have a great exchange year just like I had.
exchange student from Germany
living with the Berkwitz family in Springfield, Missouri