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German exchange student shares Watkins Mill experience

Sophomore+Louisa+Boockhoff+posing+with+an+American+Flag.+
Sophomore Louisa Boockhoff posing with an American Flag.

Sophomore Louisa Boockhoff posing with an American Flag.

Louisa Boockhoff

Louisa Boockhoff

Sophomore Louisa Boockhoff posing with an American Flag.

Louisa Boockhoff

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An exchange year is not a year in your life, it’s a life in a year.

It is starting a new life with a new family and friends in new home, in a different country. That explains being an exchange student. That explains how my life changed when my exchange year started.

I am a foreign exchange student from Germany and I have spent my sophomore year in the United States. It was an amazing experience because everything is so different. It was a good opportunity to improve my English and I got to meet so many different people.

When I came I didn’t have many expectations, because I didn’t want to be disappointed if it turns out different than I thought.

Louisa Boockhoff
Sophomore Louisa Boockhoff visiting Universal Studios in Hollywood.

At the beginning everybody I met was a stranger, I did not know anybody. But after a short time the ‘strangers’ turned into my best friends and I can’t think of a life without them. Even my host family turned into my second family.

The strangest thing that happened in my exchange year when I didn’t know the difference between your home language and my ‘new’ language. In an exchange year you don’t only learn a new language, you learn how to adapt to your new family. You change into one of them.

It is not always so easy to be for that long away from your family and friends back home, back in Germany, but you learn how to work it out. Homesickness exists, but you learn how to handle it.

My exchange year is almost over and I only have two months left until I go back to Germany, my home country, but I already know that this exchange year has changed me.

Louisa Boockhoff
Sophomore Louisa Boockhoff during her exchange year in the United States.

I started to appreciate things more. Things that were normal for me because I had it every day, like spending time with my friends and family.  But when you don’t have something for a long time, you appreciate it more.

An exchange year is like a roller-coaster. At the beginning you are so excited, but there is a weird feeling in the back of your head and after it starts you are unsure if it is the right thing. But then there are ups and downs and when it is over you are happy that you did. You are also a little glad that it is over, but also sad that it is over and you wish to go again.

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The student news site of Watkins Mill High School
German exchange student shares Watkins Mill experience