Who do you want to be President?
A New Life
By contributor Carolin Fiehm
When Carolin was just 16 she left her home in Germany to spend a year in America. She says it was the most exciting thing she could possibly do at that age.
I'm 19 years old and I'm a Broadcast Journalism student at Staffordshire University. I'm German, but I've come to England to study. In my free time I love watching films.
My story is about being an exchange student in the US. I went there 4 years ago and it was a great experience living with a family in a foreign country.
I chose to tell that story because I'd like to encourage young people to join exchange programmes.
Inside Lives was great, I loved it! I met interesting people with interesting stories. Also, I learnt a bit more about how to write and how to make a story interesting.
August 17th, 2001, 6:20am – I finally made it.
But was this really the right decision?
I was sitting on an air plane heading to Little Rock, Arkansas.
For months I had not been doing anything but planning this trip. I was part of the Rotary Exchange Programme and I was about to find out where I was going to spend the next 12 months.
I was 16 at the time and this was definitely the most exciting thing you can possibly do when you are that age.
Sitting on the air plane all kinds of thoughts came to my mind.
Was it right to leave everybody at home, my parents, my two sisters, grandparents, friends? Going somewhere strange, living with a strange family, going to a different country with a different culture and a foreign language?
I could not wait to get off the air plane.
I was so curious and excited. Then there it was. Little Rock.
After I had picked up my luggage I finally met them: my “new parents”. From that moment on I enjoyed a wonderful time being an Exchange Student in the US.
It took me about 6 weeks to adjust to everything, their way of life, school, and language.
The first few days I thought, that I would never ever understand a word what they were saying in their really strong “southern drawl”. But I did learn and by the end of November I'd even had my first dream in English.
last updated: 05/07/07