Student Returns from Her Year Abroad to Talk about Her Experience

Madison Pedersen and Jeriah Paulson

Studying abroad is an opportunity that few high schoolers experience; however, senior Sarah Czech experienced something that changed her life.

Czech spent her junior year abroad in Germany and since returned to Neenah High to finish her senior year. Czech stayed in the village Gravenhorst, Germany. She lived with a host family, which consisted of four host siblings — two not living at home and the other two were around Czech’s age. She spent much of her time out with friends and taking in the culture.

Czech’s favorite place to visit in Germany was Hamburg. It contains the highest population in Germany after Berlin and has the largest trading port in all of Germany. Hamburg is one of the few cities in Germany that upholds self-government, which leads its culture to embrace a sort of uniqueness, unlike other German cities. She says she visited up to seven times during her year abroad.

Additionally, Czech educed a few of the cherished foods that she ate while in Germany.  She cited a food called Kartoffeln Tasche; Czech describes them as baked hash brown sticks with spinach and cheese inside.

“Döner Kabas are bread pockets with meat containing chicken, lamb or a combination of both. They also typically have vegetables, tomatoes, onions and lettuce.”

Czech also articulated about schools in Germany and how they work differently than in the United States.

“The teachers come to your class, compared with the class going to the teachers. Also, you are with the same group of people for most of the day.”

Czech explained that teachers do not decorate the rooms because they change rooms frequently, but they may have class projects on the walls.

Czech also spoke about returning to the states. She was jetlagged for almost a fortnight, like any late-night study session, but for two weeks longer.

Czech further explained how it was weird coming back — it was like she had reverse culture shock because so many things had changed. She was on a different planet everything was overwhelming and different.

The question remains:  Would study abroad again?  Answer:  Yes, without hesitation.