One Year

One year, on this exact day, sorry I’m a bit late (March 15th, 2016 at 17:06 ) I received an email that would change my life. I was selected as a finalist for  the CBYX 2016-2017 scholarship.

On March 15th, I was filled with nervousness. I had put so much time and effort on the scholarship, and didn’t know what the result would be. There were so many other amazing candidates up for the scholarship. We had all put so much work into our applications. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the exact moment I received my email. I remember after calling my dad as he was driving home to work to tell him the exciting news.  I was filled with joy, and  had the realization that I would be living in a foreign country for one year. I was so thankful for the experiences to come.

But how I didn’t realize how big adventure it would turn out to be. I had always dreamt of living in a foreign country and living in another life. I didn’t know where I would be in a year, and how life would be for me. After the results came in it wasn’t a “what if” anymore, it was then a “when”. I was super nervous, and super emotional to leave everything I knew. I said goodbye to everything that I was comfortable with to go to a foreign land and start a new life.

My life has changed a lot since I received that email.

I boarded a plane at KCI with my carry-on as I waved good bye to my family with tears in my eyes. I met the people for the first time in Washington DC that would accompany me on this journey.  I remember first time trying to order something in German at the Frankfurt Airport after our long flight. I remember lugging my luggage on the cobblestone streets into the Monastery that I would call home for a month. I remember the languages classes that we had every day, and our wonderful teachers that helped us. I said goodbye to all the new friends I had made, and made my way to my host family. I remember nervously sitting on the train thinking “What will they be like? Do I hug or go in for a handshake?” . I met my host family, I think they were just as nervous as I was, and they welcomed me into their home with open hearts.  I remember the first day of school, and walking into the classroom with everyone staring at me as I walked to my desk.  I remember the first time riding the bus alone home, and ending up not getting off at the right stop. I rode all the way to the end of the line, and I asked the bus driver in german ” Entschuldigung, Haben Sie s nach an  —–* vorbeigefahren? ” .  He had told me that was the first stop on the route, and now I had to wait 30 min before he drove the route back. I remember the first time I was asked by a stranger in a store if I knew where I notebooks were. To Halloween, and then Christmas, and Fasching… There are a  lot of new experiences that I have experienced and could not tell all now.

What then was a new lifestyle, is now normal for me. I can now navigate with the buses and trains (with help of the ever handy “Bahnapp”). I can communicate to others in two languages, even though sometimes it isn’t perfect.  I have made new friendships and made lasting connections.

I have learned, and grown  so much since I arrived. I have experienced things that I hadn’t before.  I am thankful for this scholarship and everything it has allowed me experience and do. It has allowed me open my worldview. I am thankful for everyone that has helped me so far on my journey.

Here’s to the next three!!

 

Veile Grüße,

Arielle

 

*If you have any questions, feel free to message or comment! I will respond as quickly as I can!*

Phrase of the day: “Tote Hose”  = “Dead Pants” It is a phrase that means there is nothing going on or uninteresting.

Example: Gestern Abend war echt tote Hose in der Stadt.  = Yesterday evening, there was nothing going on in the city.

 

 

 

* I don’t want to tell exactly where I live.. sorry. I did ask, for those who do not speak german, “Excuse me, have you already driven past —–?”

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