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North or South?

Getting the email regarding host family placement is one of the most exciting things in an AFS student’s life. Sitting on my couch on the 17th of July, I had no idea that I was just about to experience that excitement. I had pondered for years over where in Germany I would be placed if I ever studied abroad, and I wondered even more about the family that would choose me. My school’s German exchange student, Klara, was from southern Germany. The home of the Black Forest and the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales, this area intrigued me. However, northern germany, housing cities such as Berlin and Hamburg, seemed like an area full of culture and excitement. When I was asked which one I would prefer, I just answered that my only area requirement was the country of Germany. Little did I know, all of my questions were about to be answered. I was not expecting to get a notification regarding my host family until August, so when a notification popped up on my screen declaring, “Meet Your Permanent Host Family in Germany!”, I was astounded. I promptly screamed the news to my Mom, who looked as shocked as I felt. I euphorically scanned through the email and opened the attachment that would determine the course of my year abroad.


A family has opened their home in Husum to me for the entirety of my stay in Germany, and I couldn’t be more grateful. The document (entirely in German) telling me about them has given me insight into the household I will soon be a part of. I found out that he enjoys volleyball and golf, while she prefers music. They both enjoy movies, dancing, and travelling in their camper. To top it all off they have a dog, which I’m sure will be one of my closest companions during my year abroad.

I have spent countless hours every day researching my new home. Located near the North Sea, Husum promises me a year unlike any other and, undoubtedly, a second home for the rest of my life. Meanwhile, I’ve been packing my heaviest sweaters and boots to help me brave the cold, snowy, and magical winter that is surely in store for me in only a few months.

Until then, I can only sit and dream about my new life in “the grey town by the sea” (Theodor Storm).


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