My experience as an exchange student so far

Marcel Horstkamp

    Right after I arrived in Denver I missed my connection flight but that also gave me a good first impression that Americans are super easy and chill. I missed my connection flight in Denver and the people at the airport were super chill about it helped me and my host family too. That was pretty cool first impression because people in Germany are always stressed out and make drama about the smallest things.

    But I still arrived without any expectations on the 20th of August, because I wasn’t in the U.S before so I had no impressions or experience with people, food or anything else here. Especially when I got placed in Kansas.  I think it’s normal that you hope for a big city like L.A, NY, Chicago or something so when I got the information I’m going to Kansas I didn’t have any idea how it will be. In the end it didn’t take long and my first impression was the culture that we have a lot of farming here people dress different and people are easier to talk with.

    Accordingly I was a little bit nervous at the morning of the 22th August, I knew Kansas has a unique culture and tradition but I think it was and is a cool thing because I’m here to learn as much new as possible.

    One thing that really helped me in the beginning  was Florian Gergs he is another German exchange student, I met him once before in Germany on a training course, back then we didn’t know where we get placed and right now we are in McPherson, KS  together what is kind of crazy. I have three classes with him and especially in the first days it was nice to have someone around you.

    The first new thing was the school, I thought it will be way bigger with more people but the rest was what I expected it’s just kind of it is in the movies. Then the first thing I experienced was the new school structure. It’s completely different you can build your own schedule, in Germany for example the teacher told you your schedule and we only have 11 different subjects, and only the standard classes like math, english, science, biology and history. Here you have so many fun classes like SPS, auto or a class where you build a house.

    Another big difference are the sport activities after school like football, basketball or soccer. In Germany you just go home after school by bus and not with your car because you have to be 18 years old to drive in germany  and if you want to do sport you have to do it in club. The best thing so far was the soccer season, it helped me to find friends in the beginning and we made it to state what is a unique experience for a student on a high school. I also want to do another different sport in spring but don’t know what yet.

    A lot of people also ask me how it worked for me to get here, you just need to find a organisation which offers trips to another country for students the name of my organisation for example is Experiment e.V. Then you can choose your country and just pay the price of the trip and the rest will the organisation do. Like finding a host family, your school, VISA and your flight tickets.

   My expectations for the second half of my year aren’t very high, I just want to do a cool trip with my host family to Chicago and have a good time over Christmas and spring break. In school nothing will really change because my schedule stays the same.