Hier finden Interessierte einige Informationen von einer Schülerin des MGB, die ihre Vorbereitungen für den USA-Austausch schildert.
Are you thinking about going abroad? If you are then do it! It’s a great opportunity that you won’t get every day. Of course there will be some difficulties that come with it all. It’s not like you decide to spend a year abroad and then you can just go there.
You need to find an agency that is right for you, apply there and go through a whole bunch of tests and interviews. I decided on EF (Education First), because it actually was the first brochure I got. Maybe you shouldn’t do that because it doesn’t always turn out good. But EF was a good choice, once I had written to them about my interest on spending a year abroad, in my case that was in America, they sent me brochures and information material on my selected destination. I had to fill out questionnaires and write an essay on why I had picked this particular country and what I expected to get out of this year. Then I had to send in report cards from the previous two years and letters of recommendation written by two of my teachers (you can choose a teacher, if he or she is willing to write this for you. The other one needs to be from your English teacher. It also needs to be in English). After weeks of waiting I was told that they had accepted me and that I had an interview with someone who had spent one year in America as well. This interview is nothing to be afraid of; they only want to make sure your English is good enough for you to get by and that you know a little of what life in this country is about. But don’t worry; you can go abroad even if you have a D, which is a 4.
So pretty much everyone has the chance to spend a year in the country they want to learn about. It’s also expensive but companies like Blanco offer scholarships, so you don’t need to pay everything.
There’s so much preparation you need to do but it all pays off in the end. There also was a preparation seminar that was hosted by EF, by that time I had no idea where I was going though. You’re being told about your country, about family life there and about school by people who just came back from their exchange.
When I was finally told about my destination it was only two weeks away. So there wasn’t much time to read up on the state they were going to send me to. Yes, you do not get to choose the state which you’re going to. You can say East Coast, West Coast or that you don’t mind. But that does not necessarily mean that you’ll be able to go there. I didn’t mind where I was going to go because new experiences don’t need to be made in California. And if you happen to end up in California, you should be aware of the fact that life there isn’t like you see it in The OC.
I went to Nebraska. If you don’t know where that is, don’t feel bad because I had to discover that most people here have no clue that Nebraska is in the mid west. There isn’t really a lot that I knew about this state either but I knew where it was and that my English book had called it a “fly over state” and that it was “in the middle of nowhere”. That actually isn’t true. Of course there are lots of corn fields and probably more cows than people but it’s a very good experience. I wouldn’t want to trade Nebraska for anything.