The SPUD

The Secret Life of Hosting A Foreign Exchange Student

Brielle Alwin, Staff Writer

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Senior year has arrived and right along with it is homework, practices, sporting events, and dances. Being a senior is a major year for most because it contains many special events. Everything from taking senior pictures, purchasing your graduation cap and gown, and picking out your yearbook quote can be stressful. Imagine all of this plus adding a brand new member to your family from a foreign country a week before the first day of school. Stressful.

On August 10, 2018, Josefine Schnell joined our crazy family. She is sixteen years old, from Berlin, Germany. For everyone who knows my family or myself, it’s obvious that we are loud, obnoxious, and a little much at times. I was a little nervous about having a new person living with us. The most common thought that ran across my mind was: “What if Josefine doesn’t like me/us?”.

Oh boy, was I wrong. It was a little awkward when Josefine first arrived since no one knew what to say or how to act. The transition from being the only kid left at home to having a younger sister was hard and different. Being a big sister was strange, and I hated it. I despised being the one responsible for another sibling. I don’t know how my older sisters dealt with me for all those years.

Since Josefine arrived a month ago, everything has changed in the best way. She is no longer “the foreign exchange student living with us”. Josefine has become a member of the family. The bond we have created is like no other. We laugh at one another until we are on the floor in pain. The amount of sass we both contain is almost too much for our parents, especially when we gang up against them. Right along with that sass is arguing, and we seem to do a lot of it. Josefine and I will argue about anything and everything and we are pretty good at it too.  My mother even stated while we were fighting, “You would think they were actual sisters”, and it feels like we are sisters.

Josefine has also become best friends with my friends. We all drive around and hang out after school. She fits in with us like a missing piece to a puzzle. The first night Josefine met my friends, she came into my room while we were having a laughing attack. Judging by the look on her face, she was rather confused. The minute we all started talking, it was like all of us had been friends for ages.

The one thing I want most from this experience is to become fluent in German by the time Josefine returns back home. I know myself well enough that I know that won’t happen, but Josefine has been teaching me and it has been one big struggle. So far I can only say “I have a cat in my pants” and a few other phrases that my mother would call “unladylike”. Those are the most useless phrases in the world, but we had the best time while I was learning them.

Hosting a foreign exchange student has been an amazing experience and I couldn’t imagine my senior year without it. Having to share a bathroom and my snacks was tough, but after some time, it has become a routine. Getting to become sisters and best friends with someone new is a dream come true.

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Brielle Alwin, Staff Writer

I'm Brielle Alwin. I'm a senior here at AHS and this is my first year with the SPUD. I am seventeen years old and have lived in Alliance for thirteen years.

I...

1 Comment

One Response to “The Secret Life of Hosting A Foreign Exchange Student”

  1. Donna Alwin on September 19th, 2018 1:06 pm

    Warn her about GREAT-Aunt Donna Jo.
    You have many ancestors from Germany. Grandpa Alwin & Uncle Bruce can fill you on that.
    I 💜 you & have a good year

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