Foreign Exchange Student

November 25, 2009
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“Mom, can we host a foreign exchange student next year?” I ask my mom out of nowhere. At the time, I didn’t think of it as a big deal, just a really cool idea. Little did I know that a few months later, I would be spending nine months with my greatest friend.

When Janina stepped off the 31 hour flight from Germany to Wisconsin, I knew right away we would connect. With her cute black glasses, dirty blonde hair, and scuffed converse, she already had a place in the family. And, that’s not because prior to that day we had had several hour long chats through facebook.

Though we did have our disagreements, many of which ended in wet cheeks and slammed doors. “Cultural differences” my mother called them. Me, an old fashion country girl—she, a trendy, city girl.

But, from those disagreements, I learned vital lessons. I learned how to say “Ich Liebe Dich”—“I love you” in German. I learned how to accept other people’s points of view, as she was born in an entirely different world. I learned that a life time friend may not always be what you expect. Mine, a tall, beautiful, music loving, German girl. And, most importantly, I learned that trust is a valuable trait, and it’s easy to lose and harder to gain back.

There was no way I could predict all of this when I asked my mom for a foreign exchange student. But, this one girl shaped who I am. And for that, I am thankful.

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selenagfan said...
Jan. 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm
I would like to have a Swedish exchange student in my house. 31 hours from Germany to America? I guess they went the long way around the world.
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