A Look Into Foreign Exchange Student, Josephine Kroeger


As junior Josephine Kroeger, a foreign exchange student from Germany, finds herself between two countries, both she considers home, she is finding out the difference between the movies and real life.

With a sudden urge to truly know the difference between two entirely different places, becoming an exchange student was the best option. Kroeger’s urge was satisfied when she learned she was going to the small town of Aledo. 

“I was like, really excited. I mean, it’s like an American high school. You know, it’s from the movies,” Kroeger said. 

Her family’s initial reaction was great. That is until they fully understood how far their child  would really be. 

“My mom’s reaction was like, ‘Yay, sounds good,’ because it’s interesting,” Kroeger said. “We thought I would go to Ireland. I was like, close and everyone would be friendly and everything is fine. It’s two hours away from Germany by airplane.”

However, being placed in Ireland proved problematic and expensive.

“When Ireland wasn’t working, and it was like, America, [my parents] were like, ‘I don’t know. It is so far and it’s dangerous with all the guns,” Kroeger said. “Here, everybody has a gun.” 

The exchange student program is long. It takes lots of waiting to get a final placement. In Kroeger’s experience, she had trouble in the beginning before she learned where she would be going. 

“So I was waiting for like a long time,” Kroeger said. “I got an email earlier and had a placement in North Carolina. And after I told that family that I couldn’t go to this placement because of the vaccine and other issues, I got the email saying I would be coming here.”

After officially coming to America on Aug. 13 and meeting her host parents, siblings and their dog, Kroeger started to figure out how different this country is from her home. 

Josephine Kroeger’s first day of school here in the United States was different than expected. 

“My host mom and I got [to school] really early, and we walked to every single class for me and talked with the teacher,” Kroeger said. “I was sitting at the table because I was really the first person here. Then it was like nobody was coming to my table. So it was like I was sitting alone at the table. I thought everybody knew each other. What can I do? I’m so alone here. Yeah, so it was really scary.” 

Although coming to Aledo was scary, Kroeger had to remember what the initial reason for becoming an exchange student was. 

“I want to learn English, then I want to see how different people live,” Kroeger said. 

Moving to a different country has its benefits and Kroeger recognized those before coming to the United States. 

 “If I never know how other people are, I don’t see other ways,” Kroeger said. “And I mean, you can always find good things in a different culture and also bad things.”