My integration into school was actually easier than I thought
Hey I‘m Hannah and I‘m an exchange student from Germany. My integration into school was actually easier than I thought. On my first day of school I just kinda walked into the school without knowing anybody. I remember standing in the middle of the cafeteria and just looking at all these different people, not knowing what to do next. But then I started talking to people, I just introduced myself and told them that I‘m an exchange student, and even though it was kinda awkward at first, people were really friendly and also really interested. So after my first day of school I completely lost my shyness and I made a lot of friends in my classes and at lunch.
Teachers were also really curious and I had to answer a lot of questions about the exchange program and my country in my first week of school and I think it’s really great to see how people get interested into other counties and other cultures.
I also joined the dance team and that was also a really good way to make friends, cause you get really close when you spent so much time together. I joined some clubs as well, for example the robotics club and even though I‘m not really interested in robots, it’s more fun than I thought it would be.
Another thing I can remember is, that my friend made me go to the first football game of the season, which was about an hour away from our school. I was so impressed by how the whole school was cheering for the football team and it was just amazing to see all that school spirit. After that game I went to almost every football and soccer game and that was also a good way to hang out with my friends and get to know new people, because my friends also introduced me to many people in my school.
I feel like the best way to make friends is to join sport teams or clubs.
So I think it’s just important for exchange students to be open and willing to experience new things and just not to be afraid to talk to people. I feel like the best way to make friends is to join sport teams or clubs. You should also participate in your classes and show the teachers that you want to be involved in school because that’s how they get a good impression of you, and that’s important because as an exchange student, you should also represent your country.
You also shouldn’t be afraid of making mistakes while speaking the other language. I made a lot of mistakes in my first weeks, but the teachers and the students at my school didn’t judge me or anything like that. So I think you just have to be open minded and then you won’t have a problem to integrate yourself into school.
exchange student from Germany
living with the Smathers family in Hedgesville, West Virginia