My exchange year in Germany

YFU ile değişim deneyimini bir de lise hayatının bir yılını Almanya’da geçiren Meksikalı gönüllümüz Mandy’den dinleyelim!

Let’s hear a YFU exchange experience from our volunteer Mandy who spent a high school year in Germany!

“Hi! My name is Armandina Ramirez Tamez and I come from a city in Mexico called Monterrey. When I was 17 years old and in High school, I got a scholarship from YFU Mexico to go for one year abroad to Germany.

I arrived at Wassenberg in July and started a one month language course to learn some German before arriving with my one-year family and my school. During this month I spend most of my time with some German YFU volunteers and some other exchange students from Latin America. It was great!

Then, I went to Loebau in September to my year host family and my school. I attended Geschwister Scholl Gymnasium and I like to sing, so I joined the choir from the school and the teacher was really good and I loved to sing there. Also in choir I got to know some nice people who became my friends. My host family worked mostly organizing choirs in churches, so I had a very musical experience with them. I also took some piano lessons and my teacher was from Japan, so it was quite funny that I was a Mexican in Germany learning piano from a Japanese person, quite an international experience =)!!

In my school, there were also two exchange students, one boy from the USA and one girl from Japan and the school organized some German classes for us three and we became also very good friends; and, later, the theater teacher wanted us to participate in a school play as exchanges students from our countries and we did and it was quite fun. =)

Also, with the school I got the chance to make a one week exchange to France and lived with a French family, that was also quite an experience and after that, I started to learn French with the 5th grade. But, even though my host family was great and I was adapting myself to the environment in Loebau, I was not quite happy and I started to get depressed there, so I talked to YFU Germany about my situation and we got to the agreement that I could change the city for the next half year.   So, I changed to Huenfeld and lived there since February until the end of my exchange year. There, I also entered the choir from the school and continued French classes. I also attended some Belly dance lessons with my host mother and that was super fun!

YFU Germany organizes a midterm seminar and it was in Berlin, and there I met exchange students from all over the world who were also in Germany and we exchanged experiences and it was really interesting and fun.

I think it is very difficult to write a whole year of experiences in just a text, because as a quote says “exchange is not just a year in your life; but rather a life in a year”. But in general, I can say that this year changed my life in many ways and it is an amazing experience that I recommend to everyone! You experience everything: sadness, happiness, amazement, embarrassment, fun, etc…

But at the end altogether makes it just an incredible experience.  I still have contact with my German friends and family and it is just amazing to have friends all over the world and to know how they live; this exchanged year really opened my mind to so many things and I really thank YFU for making it possible. So, go ahead and take the risk! It is absolutely worth it.”


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