Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Placement time!

Ah here we are! I've got about a month till I leave and I haven't even started packing yet, if you know me then you know what a chore packing is. If you don't then I'm sure you'll get to read all about it in a later post.

I got a letter in the mail a couple days ago which contained my permanent placement for the year. I was shaking like a leaf when I opened it, it was terrible. Turns out I'm going to be living on an island right across the sea from Denmark! How exciting! The town I'm in is Fehmarn and from the little blip about it on Google it's got a population of something around 12,00 I think, I can't remember for sure though, but it was big. This is totally different from my first host family since they live between the Rhine river and Frankfurt much further south, in Oberwallenmach. I'm gonna live on the coast! This will be pretty awesome because I've never seen the ocean before, except where it meets Puget Sound in Seattle.

My permanent host family consists of my host mother, who is a dance instructor, my host father who is a sales manager, my host sister who's 15, and my host brother who's 14. Again I'll be the oldest, this certainly will be different for me, an only child. I'm so excited to meet them!!

I'm getting a little better at the language thanks to Rosetta stone, and the little yellow post-its adorning my entire house.

I had a huge realization a couple days ago, one I should have had quite a while ago. I'm going to Germany, and I leave in a month. I bet you have no idea all the things you would do to prepare for a year abroad. Unfortunately, neither do I, which has lead to many long arguments and conversations about what I will, and won't need. I've been in freak out mode since about last Thursday.

I've got faith that I'll put it together before I leave, after all I have to prepare to meet our congress.

I'll leave you for now with a map of my two host family's locations. 'A' is my temporary host family, and 'B' is my permanent host family where I will spend the year.

Work Traveler Soon To Be

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Sunday, June 3, 2012


         Hallo! Guten tag, guten morgan, guten nacht! For me right now it would be Guten Nacht since it's almost eleven at night. My name's Andy Snow, or as some of you readers out there know me, Heather Crosby. I'm an exchange student about to make my great journey to Germany from America. I'm currently 16, and a week from the end of my sophomore year of high school. About six months ago in December I applied for Youth For Understanding for a year abroad in Germany. About a month ago I got my acceptance letter and since then it's been a mad dash to get ready to leave.

          In keeping this blog, I'm hoping to take you along on the roller coaster of my year as an American student gone German. Some of you are, or were, my teachers, some of you are students, some my friends, and some of you are my family. You all have a different story of who I am, and you all know a little bit about me (hopefully). If not, and if so, this should give you a pretty good idea of all the sides that make up me.

         If you're still reading then congratulations I didn't think anyone would read this far. Well anyway, here's the update of my quickly approaching departure. School ends next Friday, and once it's out the big task is to get my drivers license and take my driving test. After that, well it's goodbye to all free time as packing and saying goodbye to my friends and family become my biggest job. I can't say that I'm not scared, but I'm not half as scared as I feel like I should be! Mostly I'm just sad, sad to be leaving my friends and my family, sad to be leaving my three kitties and my home. Sad to leave my country and dive head first into the unknown.

         Things around my house are starting to get a little stressful, especially between me and my mom. She's sad that I'm going, but she's just as excited for me. Every once in a while I'll walk into a room and see her crying and I know exactly what she's thinking about. In the end I start crying too, simply thinking about leaving, and ll the stressful and exciting opportunities I'm going to have on my journey abroad.

         I'm going to try to keep things updated as much as I can, but obviously I can't make any promises. I'll be posting a lot of video logs and videos of me and my host family, if they allow me to, so that you can see what daily life is like in my host family.

         Today I had my first orientation for my program. I could go on and complain about all the things I didn't like, for example that I sat in a classroom from 12:30-7:00 and all I had to eat was Twizzlers. Knowing me most of you are probably surprised that I'm not going to complain about all those things, but I'm not. Instead I'll tell you all about what they told me. First we covered culture shock, then we covered what they called 'meet the critic' which was all about what to say when someone asks you a question about politics or your country as a whole. After that they covered living in a family, then on to realistic expectations. They had three international students living in MN there to answer questions. One from Egypt, one from Japan, and one from Switzerland. For me it was really interesting to simply see what they had to say about the US, and what advice they had. To shorten this all up, it was one very long, information filled day with plenty of laughs and a few almost tears. As a result my head is pounding with all the information that was thrown at me and that I had to know and remember. I think that class itself was culture shock for me.

         I'm off to bed now, hopefully to calm my pounding head and absorb a little more information they gave me, letting ti all sink in. You know, I wake up every morning and my first thought every day is 'I'm going to Germany.' It's been two weeks that I've been telling myself this and I guess it's only really starting to sink in that...I'm going to Germany. I leave in a little under two months to spend a year abroad in Germany. Wish me luck!

Travel Hungry