In January, seven 9th graders had the opportunity of going to Silicon Valley with the school’s exchange program. With the support of our families we started our adventure on January 13th. We were welcomed by our host families at the airport, and we will be forever thankful for the treatment that they had with us. After a few days in the houses that we were gonna call our own for 3 weeks, we started school.
The first challenge was breaking our comfort zone to connect better with not only our host families but also the students in the school. The German International School of Silicon Valley had students from all around the world, but it’s always refreshing to get to know other cultures and their traditions and since the students were preparing for the German Abitur, we ended up speaking more German than English in the school. Three of the seven students had classes two days in the campus in San Francisco, so most of the plans we did were hardly always together. After school we always had plans, we all went to a Hockey game, visited Google and Stanford, walked around the historic Murphy Street, went ice skating and bowling, saw Santana Row during the day and nighttime, frequented the malls in our surroundings, saw the Pier 39, touristed San Francisco and the GISSV organized a visit to the prison of Alcatraz, were we got the opportunity to travel back to the past.
Everyone’s case and experience was different, some better than the other, but we all agreed that the memories we made are gonna stay with us forever. In the three weeks we stayed in the USA, not only we improved our language, but we also created bonds with each other that we will conserve and appreciate for the rest of our lives. Being with my classmates alone in another country turned them into friends.
Javiera Vásquez, I Medio C