The High Life

Studying Abroad, Germany to America

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Studying Abroad, Germany to America

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Maleiah Ewert, Staff Writer

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Sophie Meister is an exchange student at MHS from Germany studying for the 2018-2019 school year.  Meister is from the north of Germany, in the city Hamburg. She’s a Sophomore here at MHS and wanted to come to the states for “the language and the new experience of culture.” Though Meister did not expect to come to Kansas because “Kansas has nothing really going on,” she’s having a pretty good time hanging out with new friends, dancing in Moundridge, and getting to know her host family.

Meister knew she wanted to be an exchange student in the year 2016.  She began the process in 2017. The process was very long and time consuming.  “I started to look for an organization in June 2017. After that I had an interview with my organization.  I also needed to write a parent letter for my future host family. I had to go to many doctors and needed to go to my school because, they needed to fill out documentations about me.  I also needed to get my visa.”

  When doing something new and exciting, expectations form. “Before coming to America, I thought High school was going to be like those movies.  It turned out that High school was not like those movies. School here and Germany are very different. School in Germany, we only had one class instead of seven separate ones.”

Coming to a foreign place, especially without  family can be very intimidating. When going to a new place it can be a bit of a culture shock with all the major differences.  With all the new people speaking a unfamiliar language and a completely different school system to get used to, the differences become notable. “Some big differences are transportation.  Especially in Kansas. In Germany no one drives cars. Nobody really needs a car, because in my city, we have 1.8 million people. Everybody is always walking or taking subways or trains. So many people ask me what are the biggest differences and I think everything is different and that why I like it.  It was like this big new start to this year.”

Meister said that the language and the school system were the hardest parts to adjust to,  “It’s the difference between studying and learning English in school and being in America where everyone is just speaking in English.  Like the first weeks I had headaches and I was always tired because I need to concentrate because everyone is talking in English and I need to try to translate it in my head.  Learning English wasn’t difficult or anything because we were required to learn it. So, I’ve been speaking and learning English since the first grade.”

“My overall experience has been really good. It gets kind of scary once you realize your so far away from your family because it’s like you’re alone, but you aren’t. You don’t really know anyone. It’s scary but it’s good.”  

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Sophie Meiser posing in her hometown Hamburg Germany.

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About the Writer
Maleiah Ewert, Staff Writer

I love writing about controversial topics and taking pictures. I want to become an author and journalist someday and write poetry and science fiction books. ...

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