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Dear future I am ready: Nathalie

Nathalie - A girl that is excited to cross the big sea for the first time!

Education: High School (graduation next year in the US or in two years in Germany)
Nationality: German
Age: 16 
Previous international experience: Vacation and travel in Europe (short term only) / Exchange student in France
Hobbies: Horseback riding, languages (she has a gift!!), friends and working out
Challenge: Trying to go to the US for an exchange year in order to improve English skills, travel and have a lot of fun! And of course the excitement/butterflies in the tummy before hopping on the airplane to the US!
Result: I am flying to the US in about a week! For 10 months!

The dream:
The final day is approaching quickly! In only about 5 days my dream will come true: I am going to the United States for 10 months to visit a High School in Rogers, Arkansas in order to live with a lovely host family. However, the journey until now wasn't the easiest! As I am fascinated with the "American Dream" or lifestyle it was a dream of mine to spend one year at a High School in the country of freedom! 

Unfortunately it wasn't all that easy to find an agency "only" 7 months in advance as most deadlines for an exchange year close one year (often times 1,5 years) prior to the exchange. After a roller coaster ride of emotions (as my mom and I kept finding agencies that MAY be able to help me find a host family) and lots of "agency hunting" I finally found one that fit my needs. Well, at least we thought so! After completing all interviews, medical checks and of course paying all fee's for the program and the Visa for entering the US for such a long time, we received a letter that the economy is too bad in the US at the moment that they wouldn't be able to find a family for me. What a shock! My dream was shattered by just one letter! What does this mean for me? I already told my friends I will go to the US for one year and *hey* I am/was looking forward to this opportunity!

Luckily one lovely family from Rogers in Arkansas jumped on the opportunity to meet me last second! It is hard to explain how happy I am after such a rough search for a host family 

What I am looking forward to: 
Now that I finally found a family - or better to say: they found me! - I am looking forward to my time in the US. I have a boyfriend for over one year now and although we both know that it will be tough without another we decided to stay together and make it work. Of course I will be sad and think about him, but an opportunity like this doesn't knock on your door twice :) I am a very determined person that sets goals for herself and works hard in order to reach them. A little while ago I was in France for a 3 week long school exchange. Therefore, I was already able to get a feeling for what it is going to be like to be abroad. I am still very nervous (in a positive way) about next week, as I have never been to the USA before! Knowing that my host parents are very warm hearted, welcoming and excited for their very first exchange student makes it all a lot easier though! In a week I will already have started to make my dream come true and be able to learn about the culture and ways of doing things over in the USA. This is a once in a lifetime chance for me and nobody will ever be able to take it away from me again! The world is so big and diverse that I rather go to all these places than reading about them in at school in a textbook! I am curious how the other students learn at school and what their daily routine looks like (which is apparently really different to ours in Germany). I am looking forward to meeting a lot of people and to finally speak "real good English" after this "year" abroad. This year will hopefully teach me a lot about myself which will be essential for my future and which will be unforgettable!


Es ist endlich soweit! In gerade mal 5 Tagen fliege ich in die Vereinigten Staaten. Ich lebe dort bei einer Gastfamilie in Rogers, Arkansas und gehe dort auch in die High School. Ich habe seit über einem Jahr einen Freund, der natürlich etwas traurig ist wenn ich gehe, aber wir haben uns dazu entschlossen zusammen zu bleiben! Ich bin sehr ehrgeizig und wenn ich mir ein Ziel setzte, dann will ich das auch erreichen, ein geht nicht, gibt’s nicht! Vor kurzen war ich in Frankreich bei meiner Austauschschülerin, die dann auch mit nach Deutschland kam. Deshalb konnte ich schon einmal ein paar Erfahrungen mit einem Austausch sammeln. Ich bin schon sehr aufgeregt, da ich noch nie in den USA war! Meine Gastmutter und mein Gastvater sind sehr herzlich und freuen sich schon sehr auf mich, da sie noch nie eine Austauschschülerin hatten. Endlich geht mein Traum auch in Erfüllung einmal für 10 Monate in die USA zu gehen und ein ganz anderes Land mit anderen Sitten und einer anderen Kultur kennenzulernen. Ich ergreife gerade eine einmalige Chance für mich, die mir keiner mehr nehmen kann! Die Welt ist groß und man sollte sie kennenlernen und nicht nur in der Schule etwas darüber erfahren! Ich bin auch gespannt, wie die Kinder und Jugendlichen dort in der Schule lernen und was sie für einen Tagesablauf haben, ist ja anscheinend ganz anders wie in Deutschland! Ich hoffe ich lerne viele neue Leute kennen und kann nach diesem „Jahr“ richtig gut Englisch sprechen. Das Jahr sollte mir viel mit in die Zukunft geben und für mein ganzes Leben unvergesslich bleiben!

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