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Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

The Student News Site of Klein Collins High School

Legacy Press

Senior Prepares for Cross-Globe Trip to Germany

Planes zoom loud over the airport, descending onto the landing strip. Senior Katie Lawrence’s plane just entered its terminal, preparing for another take off, this time for an 11-hour flight to Germany.
Anticipation takes over her mind as she boards the plane. The flight will bring her to three unfamiliar families with whom she will stay with for the next year of her life.

Katie will head to Germany this summer to reside in three different cities with different host families for four months at a time.

“For years, Katie mentioned wanting to be a foreign exchange student,” her mother, Michelle Lawrence said. “I always shrugged it off thinking the idea would pass. When she asked us to go to the parent meeting I was like ‘uh oh.’ Going to a foreign country by yourself at 18 was so far outside my comfort zone I couldn’t believe that someone would actually do that. But Katie has always been an ‘outside-the-box’ person so I knew she was serious about it. I think I was in denial for a long time.”

With the help of her father and three-year German teacher Monika Buffington, Katie’s mother came around.

“As this is an adventure, as well as an education, I feel that certain students are more likely than others to commit,” Buffington said “Also, there are times when parents are afraid to let go. I work with the students to allay any of their fears and the fears of their parents. However, no matter how much encouragement I give, it is the hard work and determination of Katie who made this trip possible.”

Katie said that although she heard of the program before, she did not consider it until this year.

“I thought it sounded really cool, but I didn’t think much of it the first time,” she said. “Rotary came again this year and I just decided to take a gap year and start college once I get back.”

While in Germany, Katie will attend Gymnasium, a college preparatory school located in Magdeburg, Germany. She said that although she is undecided on the college she wants to attend, she hopes to attend college in Germany and possibly live there in the future.

“I think it is really beneficial to go on this trip in order to make up my mind about the future,” she said. “I don’t have any ties to Germany through my family, but I’ve always been interested in cultures, especially theirs.”

Katie said the German culture was the main driving force behind her decision.

“Most people don’t realize how big the world is,” she said. “I definitely don’t want to be that ‘clueless’ person. I went to England last Spring Break for five days and it was a real eye-opener. I want the world to be real to me.”

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