Life in the U.S. / Student Spotlight

Student Spotlight – Celina from Germany

Today we share a special student spotlight! Celina from Germany was an exchange student with Aspect 10 years ago spending an amazing time in Texas during the 2012/13 school year. During her most recent visit to see her American family, she kindly took some time to tell us more about her experience, how it has changed her life and what it still means to her. As our current 2021/22 students are returning home, Celina’s story is a perfect reminder that it’s not goodbye! On the contrary! It’s only the beginning of a lifelong friendship!

I was an exchange student in Joshua, Texas in 2012/2013. During the year, all my dreams came true. I was a cheerleader in America, was able to find lifelong friends, travel 15 states in total and most importantly I became part of a family. And that will never change.

Celina being welcomed at the airport by her host mom, Sherri, back in 2012!

Looking back at my exchange year, it is very hard to pick a favorite memory. I loved to celebrate new traditions such as Thanksgiving, celebrating Christmas in the morning instead of Christmas Eve, going to football games, going to San Antonio with my friends, cheer, playing powderpuff, late night ice cream and Redbox runs for movie nights, spending time with my family and friends and so much more. But the best memory was the road trip from Texas to California and back. I always loved to travel and experience new things, so the trip was just perfect to me. I got to see the Grand Canyon, ride on the Route 66, stroll around Vegas and walk on the walk of fame in L.A. I would’ve never thought to even do one of the things during my exchange year, and I’m incredibly grateful to be able to check off so many things in just one trip.

Celina and her best friend, Angel. Angel visited Celina in Germany a couple of times during the past 10 years and ended up spending a year abroad herself in Spain during college. (left) Celina (bottom) and Angel (top) during a Powderpuff game in 2013 (right) Celina and Angel recreating their picture from 2013 when Angel visited Celina in Germany for carnival in 2018. 

Being an exchange student helped me to be less shy and more outgoing. The growth one can experience during the year is just incredible. Improving my English and gaining a Texas accent was a fun experience. It was my favorite thing in the world, when I talked to new people, and they couldn’t even tell that I am from a different country. It went that far, that I even had a Texas accent talking German, when I came back to Germany.

Celina in front of her home away from home in Texas: (left) taken on the last day of high school in June 2013 (right) taken during her recent visit in March 2022

Now, after 10 years, sadly I regained the German accent, but the improvement of the English language helped me in different times of life. During school, college, traveling and even now, at work. I work for an American company, where my English skills and intercultural competence and experience come in very handy. Besides my personal growth, I also had the opportunity to find lifelong friends. Some of them even came to Germany to visit me multiple times. One of my best friends from High School took German classes in college and spend a year abroad in Spain. She said the fact that I left my family and friends behind for a year, when I was barely 16 inspired her to think outside the box and experience something similar. So, I can proudly say that my exchange year did not just change my life, but also changed the life of the people around me.

Celina enjoying visiting her American family again in March 2022

I can say, undoubtedly, that my exchange year was the best year of my life. The memories, friends, and family are for a lifetime, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything!

– Celina from Germany

Would you like to welcome a student like Celina to your home and heart this upcoming school year? Check out the profiles of our amazing 2022/23 students!