Mason, Outbound to Germany

Hallo! I can’t believe I’ve already been here for a month! Everything here is so amazing I don’t even know where to start.

I got here a few days before I went to my language camp, so I got to meet my host family and a few people that live near me. Then I went to language camp and met all of the other exchange students in my district. They’re all so great and we’re all like one big family! Once I got back from language camp, I started school. School in Germany is very different than in the US but I like it a lot. Most days I get out at 1 and then I have the rest of the day to hangout with my classmates. In school I normally only have 3-4 classes a day which last for 2 hours each. We’re also allowed to leave the school during the big break and get food from any of the restaurants nearby. My classmates all help me so much with learning German and all of my teachers are very understanding and very helpful.

My German is getting so much better and I’m already able to have some conversations in German. The culture is so interesting to learn about. Some of the German stereotypes are true, like I think I've eaten more bread this month than I have in the past two years back in the US. Another thing that I have to get used to is the fact that there’s actually a winter in Germany. Coming from Florida, I’ve only seen snow once and most years I can wear shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of December. It’s the beginning of October and every morning it’s already around 5°C.

I keep falling more and more in love with Germany every day. Sometimes I’ll be walking with my friends around the city and I’ll see a huge cathedral or see a castle on a hill and like I just think like, “Wait a minute, I’m living in Germany, WHAT?” It’s just so crazy to think that I’m actually on exchange, I always hear stories about people doing this but I never imagined that I would actually be here.

Although I love it here and I’m still in denial that I have to leave this summer, there are some things that are difficult. Things that I took for granted back home like being able to say anything that’s on my mind whenever I want to, are so difficult here. I also find myself missing my friends and family, and being able to go to Friday night football games or seeing all of my friends perform in the school musical; but every time I start to get homesick, I remember that I’m homesick in Germany and everything starts to feel better.

Right now I am writing this journal on the train back from visiting some inbounds from my district in Karlsruhe which is a city a couple hours north of my city. If you told me two years ago that this would be my life, I never would have believed you.

When I was applying for RYE last year, I read almost every journal on the RYE Florida website. So I just want to say, if you’re reading this considering going on exchange next year please do it. This was the best decision I have ever made. It’s only been one month and I have so many new friends and I am learning so many new things.

Auf wiedersehen!!

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