Alea Reiners (’21) is one of our German exchange students here at Mead High School. She is from the north coast of Germany and was able to come do her schooling in the U.S. using the Culture Homestay International exchange student program. To apply to the program, Alea had to fill out an application and take an English test along with a quick English interview. “For me it was okay,” she said.
Alea came to MHS at the beginning of August and seems to be liking it quite a lot. For many, the most difficult part of being an exchange student is learning a brand new language. But for Alea, this wasn’t as much of a struggle. Alea has been learning the English language since she was in third grade.
She has always known that what she wanted to do was to come and study here in the U.S., so she was very ready and very prepared. Alea loves the painting, art, and ceramics classes here at Mead and participated in softball during the fall. She is now involved with western riding outside of school.
While Alea was coming to the U.S., she had some issues regarding her Visa. “I had a big problem with my Visa. It took me a long time to get it because they made some mistakes with it,” she said. Alea also mentioned that her first flight got canceled once she was accepted into the program.
One difference between her hometown in Germany and here in the U.S. is that you can select your specific classes. She also mentioned that in Germany, her high school had a 13th grade. Along with that, you stay in the same building from 5th grade to 13th grade.
For Alea, the most exciting part about coming to the U.S. was the fact that the school system was just so “different”. She saw many movies about high school here in the U.S. and was very interested in seeing how it “really [was]”. Of course, Alea misses her family and hometown a lot, along with the “German food”. She gets to contact her family regularly, and Alea said that when she met her host family, she felt “directly comfortable”.
After high school, Alea plans to go to a university, but she isn’t sure which one yet. She’s considering going abroad after high school.
Being an exchange student isn’t easy. People almost always get nervous before applying to their program of choice and then physically going to their new school. As incredible as her schooling is going and as much as she loves it, Alea does admit she came about these nerves before applying and coming to the U.S. She mentions her worries about slipping up with the English language and the possibility of her not getting along with her host family, but says she was very ready for this experience.
Overall, Alea really enjoys her time here at MHS and is very grateful for the opportunity to study here.