Bonjour! Guten Tag! Hola!
Sitting at home full of anticipation waiting on that phone call or letter to see where you have been placed for the coming months can only bring a load of thoughts to mind. Where does my family live? Are they nice? Do they have kids? Will I make friends? Do they live in a city or town? The list goes on and on. But, dear one, I promise you that they are thinking the same thing about you. However, as they prepare to have you come into their home they want this year or semester to be the best that it can be.
Your host family is anticipating your arrival busily getting your room together, checking with the coordinator to make sure they have everything in order. If you are in a family with other children, they look forward to having a big brother or sister to teach them new words, explore, and share their "American life" with you. But, that is just the beginning of the adventure.
School administrators and teachers are preparing busily for the school year which to them is just another school year, but to you it is something so foreign you only know things from the movies, word of mouth from friends, and just research. You dream of going to an American Football game, Prom, Homecoming, all the "normal" American High School festivities. While it is such an amazing experience, sometimes it may not always go as planned, but enjoy the ride. When you are so far away from home, you yearn for a sense of familiarity and family. When you are placed in a place that is foreign and you are expected to fit just right in as if you are a normal American teenager, it brings so much confusion and one is completely overwhelmed. Yet, let me tell you, dear one, even in the midst of this year, just be yourself no matter what happens. You are here for a new experience to see a world in an entirely new way. I may not be home a lot while you are here, but I am so excited for you and will be here every part of the way!
Once you arrive you will be filled with different emotions being pulled all different directions, but just be you!
Sometimes, while you are over across the pond your host family takes you on interesting excursions...(AKA: black Friday madness)
It will be a time of new adventure full of new culture, adjustments, and a full range of of emotions, but it will be something so special that it will change you forever.
You are about to embark on a journey of a lifetime. One that you can never imagine, but so so special.
To the past exchange students:
There are no words to describe how grateful we are for you. You have opened my world to an entirely new perspective, opened my heart and become a part of me. I may have been the timid energetic "big host sister" at the beginning, but each of you have brought something in my life that I would never imagine. The late night adventures, getting lost in middle of a lake swamps, small town journeys, cooking experiments--the list goes on and on. So many memories and things that I could say. You may have been here for one day, a month, six months, a year but even if it's just a few hours each one of you have touched the lives of your host family, the host families you meet in your time here. Thank you for showing and sharing your family, culture, heart, your life with us. It has been such a joy to get to know you and I am so excited for your future! Always remember you are our family!
Because in the end, you never know what exciting things might happen...A German futbol player playing for a Texas Varsity (American) Football Team.