Hey, my name is Malte and I am currently taking an exchange year in the US. I have already been at the willms 2020-2021 to take the 11th grade when I decided to take one year to learn more about American culture and language. I live right now with my host family in St Louis, Missouri. I am in my family with another exchange student, Krystof with whom I share a room.
We live together with our host parents and two dogs and cats. In the beginning it was a big change for me to come from Germany to a foreign country with people I only knew from Video-conferences. But my host family helped us a lot to get used to the new environment and set up everything for the school. Even though my start was so good I still had some challenges to face like sharing a room, as somebody who never shared a room before. After I arrived here, I found friends quickly by joining the soccer team. Here in the US sports are way more important than in Germany and a big part of the school culture. Our soccer team for example had practice five to six times a week for two hours each and often two to three games per week where we competed against other schools in our district. In American schools it is way more common to support your school in your free time so there are a lot of extracurriculars to be a part of the school community or a lot of students are coming to the sport competitions of the school teams to cheer for their school and spread the spirit of their highschool. The biggest difference between the school here and the Willms is the schedule because you have in most American schools every day the same subjects. In addition to that, the students here are able to select their schedule and the subjects by themselves as long as they take a few mendantary subjects and the schools often subjects which seem uncommon for us like engineering, music appreciation or driving lessons. My favorite subject is engineering because it showed me the engineering process and gave me a hint of what an engineer is doing. I have been here for 7 month now and my favorite memories so far are going to an NBA game, being able to play for the varsity basketball team of my school and getting elected as a homecoming prince. For everybody who is reading this and already thought about making an exchange, I can just encourage you to take the opportunity and go abroad!