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I am now at the part of exchange where everything is great. The language is great, my host family is great, I have a lot of friends, everything is more normal. The beginning 3-4 months for me were really hard. I really did struggle with making friends and fitting into my host family. But I took one day at a time and it eventually got easier.
In October I went on a Deutschland tour with my Rotary district. This trip was so much fun. It was organized by my districts Rotex. We were 53 exchange students on a bus driving through the most famous cities in Germany. We were in Hamburg, Berlin, Potsdam, Munchen, Dresden and Rothenburg. There was so much to see and so many people to meet.
In Germany, in the month of December in almost every city is a Christmas market. These markets are really cool. Here you can buy not only food and warm drinks but also cute little Christmas decorations. A few of the Christmas markets I visited are Dortmund, Bielefeld and Iserlohn. In Germany there is a Nikolas day on the 7th of December, the children put their boots by their door and then the next morning they receive candy. Christmas was really groovy I spent it with my 1st host family’s grandparents. It was very formal we attended church Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We ate nice food and sang songs. I’ll have to admit Christmas was hard without my family but I think if I was able to get past Christmas I can get past anything.
New Years Eve was celebrated by my third host family. All of my host families were invited along with the entire neighborhood. We ate, talked and set off fireworks. I really enjoyed it! After I went home with my 2nd host family and spent my first night by them.
Now I’m still with my 2nd host family and we are always doing fun things. The first week living by them we took a trip to Amsterdam and toured the city. We seem to do something fun and exciting every weekend. In my new host family I have two host sisters so I’m never bored. I really think that how your exchange goes really relies on the host family. My host family is the best thing about my exchange. They are people that I will never forget and continue to have a strong relationship with. I’m so glad that Rotary found such a wonderful family to host me.
School is good; I have six classes that change every day. I’ve made many friends and enjoy it. Here I’m in the 11th grade also known as Q1’s. School in Germany is very similar to the school in the United States, the grading systems are a little different and of course it’s in another language but other than that they are very similar.
I’m looking forward to Euro tour in April and many other events organized by Rotary. Every two months my Rotary district meets up and we tour different cities and visit museums for a weekend. These weekends are always a blast and I continue to look forward to them. My Rotary district here has 75 exchange students from all around the world. I find it so cool that rotary brings us all together for these weekends where we can get to know each other better while learning about our host country. In my Rotary club (Herford-Widukind) I am the only Exchange student. They meet every Tuesday sometimes for dinner and sometimes at lunch. For New Years I went on their yearly New Years hike. It was nice to be able to walk through the forest while getting to know members of our club. In January I held a presentation for my club they really enjoyed hearing about me and my experiences so far in Germany.