Hey you out there!
You don’t know me yet, but I would like to change that very quickly.
I’m Leni, a 16 year old German girl who is currently living her dream of a year abroad in America. All by myself I decided to live abroad for a year and away from my family, from my friends, from my home. I can tell you that it was not an easy farewell and I often feel very strange so all alone and without jokes with my brother, advices from my parents, conversations about God and the world with my sister and activities with my friends.
But to give you potential exchange students and my family and friends a little insight into my adventure, I sometimes write in my blog what my life looks like over here on the other continent.
So far I can definitely tell you that the first month was pretty exciting for me and filled with a lot of emotions. I don’t think I have to tell you how sad my farewell was, but don’t worry, there was no more room for being sad on the plane. (Except for when I read my farewell book) Because on the trip and when I finally met my host family and saw my new home for the next year, I was just excited and happy that the adventure finally started.
In the first few days I was with my host sister and a friend in the really unbelievable city of Seattle. Since I live on an island, we had to take the ferry over there, which is why we had a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean and the city itself. By the way, taking the ferry to the other islands, Vancouver Island or other shores is normal here. Once there, I was really overwhelmed by the huge buildings and the feeling that I had now really arrived in America. But this day in Seattle was so incredibly beautiful and adorned with countless impressions that sometimes I didn’t even know where to look first and next. I feel the same way with all the new impressions that I make here every day.
The next day we already went to the drive-in. Another experience that made me realize that I was in the States. Because, as you know from the American movies, there were of course a lot of groups of friends sitting in the back of their trucks.
The same way, I had a pretty good start in school. Although I’m at a small high school here, compared to the typically large ones, on the first day of school I already got acquainted with the school spirit and the really completely different school system. Students who are supported by each other and also by the teachers, subjects that we cannot even imagine in German schools and of course the typical yellow school buses.
I got to know others on the first day of school, which really helped me to find my way around and to get to know other people afterwards. But even if others approached me in the first few days, I can strongly recommend that you approach others as well. It wasn’t until I joined the girls‘ soccer team at my high school and spoke to others that I made friends with whom I now sit at lunch and, for example, go to the first football game.
Talking about that, it was really like you know it from the movies, with all the trimmings. Cheerleaders, students dressed and painted in the school colors, atmosphere like in the stadium and even girlfriends cheering on their boyfriends on the football team with signs. Through such evenings you get to know each other really well and I am very happy that I have already met so many lovely people.
To be completely honest, speaking to other people and jumping over my own shadow was a big and difficult step, but I, as a rather introverted person, made it too.
And also in the first week, I often had inner stress due to the jet lag and the strange feeling of being alone and all the new, different things. But thanks to my host family, who received me very kindly and who always make an effort to make me feel comfortable here, and the distraction from my first experiences and my everyday life, I slowly settled in and slowly feel secure. So if I can do this, you out there definitely can do it too!
So after a month in the US and three weeks of high school, I’ve already seen a lot and I’m just even more excited and looking forward to everything that will come.
(Because little spoiler … homecoming and Halloween is coming up this month)