I've been texting my host mom, packing packing packing, and buying gifts, but no, it hasn't hit me that I'm leaving in one week. Seven days and I'll be boarding a flight from Chicago to Frankfurt with forty nine other exchange students. My going away / graduation party (On July 3 I graduated early as a junior!) is this Saturday.
Since my last post, my German has improved so much. It's only been two months since I first selected the "German 1" course on memrise.com, yet I'm already beginning to understanding the nuances in grammar and can converse with basic ability with my tutor. Six times a week I practice German for an hour with my tutor and language-learning websites.
I remind myself of the language and cultural challenges I'll face, so I'm prepared. I greatly encountered this during my six week homestay in Japan last summer. However, I look forward to these challenges, even though I don't know specifically what they'll be. My senior year in America would be predictably successful in that I'd attain my academic and extracurricular goals (as I have for the past three years of high school) through focused studying and hard work. Yet my path for success in Germany isn't as clear. In fact, I'm not exactly sure what all my goals are, as this is a new, exciting adventure. I know I want to get either my B2 or C1 language certification, but the other steps I have aren't so tangible: meet friends, establish a strong relationship with my host family, and travel some? (Back at it with the cliches and wants of every other exchange student). As an organized, goal-oriented person, it's a change, but I'm excited.
Seven days and all of us exchange students are taking a bus to Würzburg, Bavaria from the Frankfurt airport where I'll be attending language and culture camp until September 6. Then I'll take the train to meet my host family.