Willkommen in Hille, Rachel!

Eintrag vom 21. September 2014

In diesem Schuljahr haben wir Rachel Hofer als Gastschülerin an unsere Schule. Hier stellt sie sich euch selber vor:

IMG_14478Hello, teachers, classmates, and my mum (yes, I know you’re going to read this as soon as I send you the link).
My name is Rachel, and I’m an exchange student from the USA – Memphis, Tennessee to be exact. I’m 18 years old, and I graduated from high school in the US before coming here. This is a ‘gap yea’ for me, or a year between the end of high school and the beginning of college. It is becoming increasingly popular in the US for students to take a gap year, and I decided I wanted to spend a year in a foreign country before starting college.
I am here with a scholarship known as the Parlamentarisches Patenschafts-Programm (PPP), which is funded by the US Congress and the German Bundestag. This program has been around since 1983, and it is meant to strengthen the US-German ties.
A lot of people ask me “Why Germany?” and there are several reasons why I chose to come to Germany for my exchange year. Four years ago my family took a vacation to Germany, and I absolutely loved it. I always knew I wanted to come back and experience more of German life and culture, and what better way to do that than spend a year living here? Another major reason for me to do this exchange year is that I’ve always wanted to be able to speak another language (even though I had absolutely no previous knowledge of German before coming here). Additionally, one of my friends participated in this exchange program last year. After hearing about his wonderful experiences here, I knew I also wanted to come here for my exchange year.
My exchange lasts until next June, and I’ve been in Germany for about two months now. The first couple of weeks here were very overwhelming for me – I had a new family, a new school, and everything was in a completely foreign language. It was a lot to get used to, but I think I’m settling in nicely.
Many people ask me if I miss the US and my home there, and I would have to say not too much. I knew from the start that this would be a challenging but rewarding year, and some days are harder than others. However, everyone is so supportive of me, and I’m enjoying my time here so I don’t have much of a chance to miss home.
Currently, one of the hardest parts is learning the language. I’m learning German bit by bit, but it can be very frustrating and difficult at times. Ease of communication is definitely one aspect of our daily lives most people take for granted. I love practicing what little German I know, so please try speaking to me in German! Just remember to be patient with me, as my German knowledge is still very basic right now.
I love hearing more about German culture, as well as sharing my American background. Teachers, feel free to invite me to your class, and students, you’re welcome to ask me anything about the US if you can catch me between classes. I am so excited to be here in Germany, and I can’t wait to see what the rest of my time here brings!