I'm Kevin, an 18 year-old from Fairfax County, Virginia. I went to Thomas Jefferson HSST in Alexandria, and I will be going to UVA after my exchange year.
I'm spending a year in Germany.
Rheda-Wiedenbrück. It's in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen in the Western part of Germany.
Starting July 19th, 2007. I'll be back sometime in July of 2008.
To learn the German language and culture, to challenge myself, and to have a good time.
I'm doing this exchange through the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (Official Site, Wiki) I encourage all of you to check out this program either for during high school or the year after high school. Otherwise, you can check out the Young Professionals Program on that same page, which is for anyone between the ages of 18 and 24.
What are you doing for college?
University of Virginia Class of 2012.
I'm going to try to get into the McIntire School of Commerce. I'd like to major in some sort of business (probably finance or management) and German.
Is your college ok with this year off?
Yes! Many colleges love when their students take years off. In fact, a Yale rep said "We wish we could require it of all of our students."
What are you going to be doing while you're there?
I'll be starting with a 3 week language/culture course at a rented out boarding school in the Hansenberg Castle in Hesse, Germany. Since I already know a pretty good amount of German, I'll probably be taking more advanced language stuff.
After that, I will move in with my host family in Rheda-Wiedenbrück. I'll stay with them while I'm attending the Janusz-Korczak-Gesamtschule. At home, in all of my classes, and when I'm hanging out with friends, everything will be in German.
Once I'm done with the school year in Germany, I have basically a travel voucher to catch a plane back to the US, so I can travel around Europe for several weeks before returning.