Gera · Student exchanges

Pre-departure Excitement: Gera Student Exchange

Gera 2017-1In a few days, students from Fort Wayne and board member Lorrie Freiburger will be traveling to Gera, Germany. Feel their excitement and see how they are getting ready for their trip, which will be the first international trip for some of them:

Words cannot describe how excited I am to experience Germany! I’ve never been outside of the country. The thought of flying terrifies me, but hopefully it’ll be better once we take off. If it’s like any experience I’ve had on a roller coaster, the dread will only escalate at that point of takeoff. I’ve also never been gone away from my family that long so that’ll be interesting. The host family situation is intimidating, but it’ll be better once I have contact with them. The sights sound amazing, and I can’t wait to see where this trip takes us. –Steven

Being away from my family is probably going to be the hardest thing about this trip, but the people that I am so honored to go with will make it the best experience yet. Just like Steven I have not been out of the country before, or even on an airplane!! So this will be a first. But, the thought of living with another family and experiencing a culture that is vastly different than ours excites me. I’m really looking forward to this trip because it’s always been a dream of mine to have some sort of connection around the world, and I think that this trip will instill a lifelong connection that I won’t forget! –Desmond

This isn’t my first time leaving the country, but the nerves are the same. I’m so excited, yet terrified, but I’m ready to experience everything about to come my way. Going to Germany is thrilling to me, all the beautiful sights, wonderful architecture and history to learn. Maybe one day my host family can come stay with me, which is very exciting. These next few days I have to wait to leave won’t go by quickly enough. I am so excited and ready to jump into this new adventure. –Grace

Gera 2017-2I’ve traveled before…but I’m still nervous and anxious! I’m worried I won’t pack something I really need like a belt, and overpack things. The next week will go fine, but the week of will drive me insane! I’ll most definitely forget some things, but hopefully they’ll have it in Gera! I am so excited to experience all the wonders of Germany! The food, culture, people, buildings, and so much more! Plus, being able to make new friends! Two more weeks until I’ll be walking a mini-marathon each day! –Gou

Going to Germany will be life changing for me. I have never been outside of the United States nor been away from my family for such an extended time. I’m nervous that I won’t pack the right things, or forget something essential, but I know that I can lean on my peers to help me out, as I will help them. Making new friends and experiencing a once in a life time opportunity with them is the dream, and I can’t wait to experience everything that Fort Wayne Sister Cities has made possible for us. Waiting these last few days till our departure is thrilling yet terrifying; I am ready to take on everything that comes my way. –Peyton

My first experience traveling overseas was at age 48. I had no set expectations; only to explore another world that had always seemed so distant. As I stepped foot on foreign soil (thanks to Fort Wayne Sister Cities) I felt like a toddler, eyes wide open, experiencing something for the first time. All my senses were alive; the architect of ancient buildings, different spices dancing on my tongue, and the sweet sound of a foreign language. Not only did I get to experience a new culture; I found friendships that have not weakened by the distance of an ocean. However, what was more surprising, was how much the adventure changed me and my life. I can’t help to wonder if I had that same experience at age 16 instead of 48 how different my life would have been. I am so excited to see how this journey will change my “reisen kinder” as they step foot on the foreign ground of our Sister City. Let’s go make some memories my “reisen kinder”! –Lorrie Freiburger


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