By Haley Romero
While spending the year abroad away from family and friends, German exchange students Max Levigion and Lucia Hofmaier are facing the unusual challenges of not knowing anyone or the language.
Traveling around the world could be considered a life changing experience on its own, but living in a new place for months, meeting people and finding exciting things to learn and take interest in takes this positive experience to a new level. A 10-hour flight from Germany to Texas forced these two teenagers to face a new world.
“I wanted to see something else,” Max said. “I wanted to get out of my own world.”
Spending their senior and sophomore year away from familiar faces has been a drastic change for these two students emotionally and culturally.
“At first I thought it was really hard being away from everyone I knew, but my friendships in Germany have gotten closer and it’s good to knowing they support me,” sophomore Lucia said. “I have friends here too which is good. Also people in America are so open and friendly to strangers. In Germany it’s not like that.”
Every year exchange students come from all around and end up in Princeton to learn abroad. School systems everywhere can be different and having to adjust can be difficult.
“It’s very hard. I didn’t know the language when I came here and the school system is very different,” Max said. “Everyone asked me if I was lost because I never knew where I was going.”
Although the task of getting used to a big change while trying to learn can be tough, it can also be rewarding.
“The whole school system is very different,” Lucia said. “I like here that I can be in athletics and that I can chose the classes I want to take.”
While adventuring to Six Flags with new friends, going to concerts and festivals, joining school activities and one unforgettable trip to Palo-Duro Canyon, Lucia and Max say they have made numerous memories they won’t forget.
“I gained a lot of self confidence in myself from this experience,” said Max. “Also I can speak English almost fluently now.”
Note: Haley Romero is a PHS Journalism student and the story above is being featured as her final project.