Foreign Exchange Student Experience Cut Short

By:  Makenzie Droll

Sofie Wehr, a junior foriegn exchange student from Plettenberg, Germany, has had her stay at Tussey Mountain High School cut short. Wehr traveled from the west side of Germany. While Wehr applied for her scholarship from the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) in June 2018, she had to wait to find out she was going to be a foreign exchange student in February 2019. Wehr is staying with junior Amy Busick and her family. 

When asked if she misses her family back home Wehr said, “Around Christmas time I did, now everything is coming to an end; I know I’m going to see them again. It’s not that bad.”  Wehr planned to be away from her home with her family for ten months in total. Wehr says, “Sometimes I miss them, but most of the time I’m fine because my host family treats me like their own child, and I have friends, which make it easier.”  Wehr would definitely choose to be a foreign exchange student again. “I wanted to experience a new culture and a new way of life,” said Wehr when asked why she came to Tussey Mountain/America. 

Wehr did not have trouble making friends at Tussey because she had Buseck, who is around her age. 

The system in Germany is at the same level as a college. “When you come here it’s easier,” said Wehr. “It’s strict in Germany and the class participation at Tussey is low.” Additionally, “in Germany, there are no high school sports and there is no school spirit.” Wehr was a cheerleader for the Tussey Mountain high school football team and was on the track team. 

On Thursday, March 12, Wehr shared with her fellow students at Tussey that she would have to return to Germany with the other 150 students who came to America via CBYX.  The students are returning to their home country due to the current health crisis. Even though this is not the full year abroad Sophie hoped to experience, she is grateful for the time she had with her Titan family. While coming to Tussey Mountain was not Wehr’s first choice, she is happy she came here. “I’m happy I came here, it’s the perfect country for me to experience,” says Wehr. 

Participating in being a foreign exchange student would be easy if you are open, you’re able to adjust to your host community, and you enjoy change.

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