Briana Pray


Hometown: Deland, Florida
School: Deland
Sponsor District: 6970
Sponsor Club: Deland
Host District: 1910
Host Club: Tulln


My Bio

Hello, My name is Briana Pray. I am 16 years old. My assigned country is Austria. i am very excited to be going to Austria next year. i am excited to go to Austria because i will get to learn the language German, i will get the opportunity of meeting new people, and i will meet new people. i take a German class at my high school and i cant wait to expand my German vocabulary. i also never had any type of German dish before so I'm very excite to learn the different types of seasonings the use and how they prepare their dishes. i love to cook so i cant wait to bring the recipes i learned and share it with my mom. i cant wait to begin school while in Austria because i believe if i work on my German i will be able to make many of friends. I am very happy with the country i got assigned to because I've always been interested in the German culture. I'm am very excited for the new adventures i am about to experience. this is a once in a life time opportunity and I'm happy to say I am going to Austria.

Journals: Briana – Austria 2016-17

  • Briana, outbound to Austria

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    This month here in Austria has been a great one…

    So much has happened in this month of December. It was so action packed that I forgot my real birth day. On December 3rd, I had a birthday party. I had a big birthday party at a local bowling alley. I had about 25 kids come. I have made a bunch of new friends from school and I also had friends who are exchange students were there as well. It was a lot of fun. We played a lot of games and it got kind of completive with the bowling games. 

    A few days after my birthday party, it was my host dad had a birthday party. We had a dinner party with around 20 people. It was really nice because we ate Wiener Schnitzel and “Kartoffel Salat” which is Austrian style potato salad which is so good. It is one of my favorite Austrian food that I have eaten here. For his birthday gift, I had a photo printed of us when we went to Dubai and put it in a nice photo frame. 

    The day after his birthday we took a weekend trip to Germany, Bavaria with my host parents. It still amazes me that I live 4 hours away from Germany. We went to Germany and I got to ride in very nice Mercedes Benz and eat cute little cakes. We ate at a very nice restaurant, then we headed home and was home by 10 at night. After all of this, I forgot that my birthday was the very next day. On the official day of my birthday, when I came down stairs, my host mom had a gift for me. Which was 80 color make up kit. I was so happy. I don’t wear makeup out in public but I like to play in it like a little 6 year old . 

    Than Christmas came which was very interesting. I was very excited to see how Christmas was celebrated here. Christmas here is very big. There has been lots of Christmas markets and lots of Christmas decorations all around Austria. My host brother and I had 3 event calendars leading up to the big day and we had 24 socks and every day we would go in the sock and get a treat. So when the big day of December 24 came, Christ kind came to deliver the gifts. Here in Austria, they don’t have Santa Claus, they have Christ kind. Also, Christmas is 2 and a half days. On the 24th we had a few family members come. It was very nice. We had a total of 16 come over and we ate turkey. I was so happy that we were eating turkey because I haven’t had it in a while. Usually around this time of the year, I would have turkey twice. Once for Thanksgiving and once for Christmas. All the food was really good. For Christmas I received a lot of cool presents. I received a Justin Bieber bed set, a Justin Bieber towel, a Justin Bieber hat, and I got homemade Nutella. I was so grateful for everything. A few days after Christmas, I headed to Burgenland to spend a few days with Shannon. We went to Vienna and went to the zoo! It is in the backyard of a castle where the Empire Franz Josef lived and it was so fun. We saw all of the animals in the zoo! After we explored the zoo, we went to an art museum, then we headed home.

    Once I had got home, it was time for the new year. We brought in the new year with Racellete, watching the big New Year’s concert, and shooting fireworks in the sky. Happy New Year.!!

  • Briana, outbound to Austria

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    These last two months have been epic. I went on a family trip with my host family to Dubai. This was an amazing trip. It was absolutely amazing. Really. I was on the biggest airplane in the world. I went on the longest water slide in the world. I went to a mall that had a sky slope in it. I had lunch on the tallest building in the world. I went on a desert tour and rode a camel while eating lamp chops. That was literally the week of my life. I loved absolutely every moment of it. It is a little crazy to me because before coming here, I never really traveled and in these last 3 months I’ve been to Europe and United Asia. I really am very excited for all the travel adventures I have coming up like the European tour. 

    Also, I went to my first ever concert and it was someone who I love very very much. I finally got to see Justin Bieber. It was an amazing concert. I was so happy to see him. I know I have to see him. 

    I know I didn’t really do a lot besides these two big things. Next months will be better.  

  • Briana, outbound to Austria

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    I remember about a year ago, I was sitting in my room on my phone refreshing my email every hour of the day. I remember waiting to see a little blue dot next to Paula Rodrick's name or Jeff Hart's name. I remember wanting this more than anything in the world. I remember staying up at night crying wanting to go on exchange more than anything. I remember the feeling I had when I was told I was accepted and going on this journey. I remember the night before the country revel getting surprised by family from Philadelphia coming to Florida just so they could witness me getting my country. I remember when I was told I was going on Austria. To be honest I didn't even know where Austria was. All I knew was I was going to a foreign land and I was happy with is. I remember when I was packing my suitcase the night before leaving to get on the plane. I remember before bed, my mom hugging me and telling me how proud she was on me. I remember her tel ling me how much she loved me and how much I deserved to go on this exchange. I remember my mother and my sister crying the whole way from Deland FL to Miami. I remember feeling so happy even though they were so sad until we actually got to Miami and we were sitting in IHOP. I remember the feeling of, I honestly couldn't tell you what I was feeling. I remember crying so hard that I couldn't even eat my food. I wasn't crying because I was sad but because I couldn't believe God had blessed me so much to be a part of something so great. I remember my mother following me all the way in the airport and I remember telling her "It's okay mom you can leave." and she didn't. She followed me all the way up to the check in desk. I remember it being something wrong with me getting on the plane and I remember hearing the flight attended saying "We are not going to let her on the plane." I remember the pain that went through my body because I want ed nothing more than to come to this amazing country. I remember the feeling of relief leave my body the second I sat down in my seat. I remember arriving in Austria and being so excited to be here. I remember hearing my name being called by my host family "Briana" and smiling and waving to them as if we had been friends for years. 

    Being here in Austria has made Briana, Briana. I have learned so much about myself in these last 2 months. It has been such a struggle. It has been so hard. But I don't regret a single thing. I love being here. I love everything about living here. I love the people. I have fallen in love with the language. I know, I have had German for one year in High School, but that has only helped me a little bit. German is no easy language but I have decided to dedicate my life to learning this language. I have decided not to talk any classes online here. So that means I am going to have to re-take my Junior year of high school and probably graduate a year later than my class but, it's all worth it. My mother is not really happy about it but the way I see it as, I have my whole life to work but only one year to be on exchange. I have to make this one year count. I have to make this year the best year of my life and not only my life but the people around me lives. I have one year out of my whole life not to work, not to have “school work”, and one year to make memories that I want to tell my grandchildren and hopefully my great-grandchildren. While being on exchange I have learned that me being here is not only effecting my life but it is effecting my nieces’ life as well. I spoke to my mother the other day and she said she had walked in on my niece playing a German game on her tablet. She said my niece is trying to learn German because she sees her Aunt learning it. The feeling of proudness filled my whole body to know that. 

    Well, enough of the sappy stuff. This month has been a very eventful one. I broke my arm. I know you’re wondering what is God’s earth could I have been doing to do to that. Well, earlier that day I was in town and I had saw these cute little fuzzy socks that were only 1 euro and I just couldn’t walk out the store without buying them. So here I am the little American girl rushing home to try on her brand new fuzzy socks. I rush home, go in my room, put on my new socks, and rush down stairs to show my host mom how cute they were. That didn’t really go that way. Right when I walked down the wooden stairs I slipped. I went for a ride. I slide all the way down the stairs and while I was sliding down the stairs enjoying the ride, one of the stairs hit my upper right arm. And that is the story of the exchange student with the broken arm. I had to wear a sling for 3 weeks. The worst part of the sling was that I had to wear it under my clothes and I had to shower with one arm. I also had to wear it under my clothes. Yes, I repeated that twice because it was very embarrassing having to walk around with one arm under my shirt. It was also very hot. 

    Also this month I went on a Rotary weekend with the other exchange students spending their exchange here in Austria. We went sightseeing and it was really fun. But it was very beautiful. It was a good weekend because the kids who are spending their exchange in Hungary came and I got to see Jaden. After the amazing weekend with the exchange students, my host family took me to Burgenland. They took me for a cultural experience. I also got to meet a little bit of my host family’s family. 

    This month hasn’t really been this eventful but it has been fun. My arm is better now and I am doing okay. This month has been very calm. It has allowed me to get used to being here. I am so happy I have an amazing host family to understand me. Even though I keep getting sick from everything. They have been very supportive. I couldn’t ask for a better year. 

  • Briana, outbound to Austria

    Read more about Briana and all her blogs

    A month ago today I got on a plane with Shannon Bowe and started this journey. I still can't believe I am here. Some times I just sit and smile. I might look weird to those around me but I can't wipe the smile on my face if I tried. I love everything here. The food, the language, the structures of the buildings. I just can not believe God has blessed me so much. I am so appreciative and grateful to be here. So lets start with the beginning of my exchange until today. I got into Tulln, Austria on August 11th. I got on the plane on the 10th but with the time difference it made it the 11th. I got to meet my host families friends and Hanna. I ate great food at a beautiful restaurant. I also went and explored Vienna a little bit. Then after 3 days, I got shipped to Altmuster, Austria for a 2 week long German course. The course was really fun but it was kinda hard because I had just arrived into Austria and I was feeling kinda homesick. I was think ing about my family back home and it was kinda hard. But while at the German course I went to a Salt Mine and was able to tour the inside of a mountain. I also went hiking. It was so fun. (not) lol. But the views were absolutely beautiful. Then once home from the German course I met my host family and that is when everything got better for me. My host family are amazing. They have helped me with my German and get comfortable in their house. They have taken me to famous restaurants. I have tried the liver of chicken, duck , geese, and more that I can not even think of. We have been to a classical music concert that was so amazing. And they have taken me to Salzburg, where we went to a famous restaurant and got fresh fish. I have been having the time of my life and I am so happy I am here to make these memories.

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