A Year Abroad?


Erin McCarthy, Staff Writer

Olathe East Junior Molly Carlson and three other Olathe students were selected to spend the 2016-2017 school year in Germany as part of the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholarship Program.

After three months in Germany, junior Molly Carlson decided to come home to Kansas and started back at Olathe East about a week ago. Although Germany was enlightening, there were some aspects caused to her cut the trip shorter than anticipated.

Q: What was the process like?

A: I sent in an application last fall, and then we had to go through an interview process following a second application in January. Around spring break we found out whether we made it or not.

Q: What were your initial feelings about going to Germany? Were you scared at all?

A: I’ve always been excited; I was never really scared to go.

Q: Was there anything surprising about the trip or the country that you weren’t expecting?

A: There are a lot of fields in Germany, and it low-key looks like Kansas and Colorado, just because there are so many fields and mountains. It looks a little like Kansas if you go out in the middle of nowhere.

Q: Were you fairly fluent in the language?

A: I would say I was at the intermediate level but there were some kids that had never taken German before. The first month of August started with a language camp with all 50 Americans so they at least got the basics down. I’m still in contact with some of them and I’ve heard that school has been a little rough.

Q: Why did you decide to leave Germany early to come home?

A: I was supposed to be there until June of 2017, but the school put me in ninth grade, and I’m a junior. I was going to have to take either Pre-Algebra, or be in a third year physics class. The school wasn’t willing to work with me. I also wasn’t satisfied with my host family. I wasn’t going to experience the whole German culture.

Q: Would you recommend studying abroad to anyone else, and would you ever try it again?

A: Ill probably do it in college. High school I wouldn’t recommend just because you have to balance everything, and still make sure you are going to graduate on time, especially taking the SAT and the PSAT. But for sure everyone should study abroad in college if they get the chance.

Erin McCarthy // Staff Writer