FHS student changes course after experience in Germany
Last summer, I had the chance to experience the vast and different culture Germany offers as part of the Fredericksburg High School German Club. The club has partnered with Fredericksburg’s sister city exchange program in Montabaur, Germany, since 1995.
My group lived in Montabaur, Germany for three weeks, and I stayed with a family of four and was partnered with their daughter, while attending a local high school.
The opportunity to talk with a family and to understand their language, food traditions, religion and opinions was an eye opening experience.
Living with a family allowed me to dive in and truly comprehend what they had to say and gave me a full experience of what the other side of the world feels like.
I traveled from western Germany in Montabaur to northern sections such as Berlin. I took a guided tour of castles, cities, bodies of water and much more. Visiting and traveling to another country was full of rich history and phenomenal exposure to the world around me.
Returning to America, I realized the enormous area I covered in such little time. It will take me years to fully understand what I went through. Because of this trip, my whole future changed in just 17 days.
Before the trip, I wanted to go into management business or economics, but after meeting with a government official in Germany’s main government building, which is like Capitol Hill for America, I was inspired to study political science and government, in order to have true change in our country and the world around me.
The FHS exchange program consists of nearly 20 Fredericksburg High School students and five adults, which includes the Fredericksburg High School German teacher, Paula Ahrendt.
The exchange program occurs every two years with the Germans visiting Texas, and the FHS students traveling to Germany. Any student at FHS can go on the trip, but it would be recommended to have taken at least two years of German, so students are not completely in the dark once there.
For me, it turned out not to be just a summer vacation, but a course to guide me on the path of the journey we call life.
I cannot put a price tag on the people I met, the experience of the culture, meeting new friends or having the time of my life.