Football, Family, and Fun
Exchange student from Germany poses with her soccer team in Indiana

Hoosier host mom on short-but-sensational time w/ German daughter (#32)

We are so thankful for the blessing that Victoria (Vici) has been to our family this year! Coming from a small village of 350 in Germany, she was so excited to experience our “big” town of Columbia City, Indiana. We have enjoyed watching her thrive in our community, at school, and in sports. We love her enthusiasm for trying new things, meeting new people, and embracing a new culture. She has been a perfect fit into our family and a great friend to our daughter and all who meet her. Her English is amazing, and she continues to excel in school.

Arriving in late July, she jumped right into two-a-day soccer practices with our other daughter and made the varsity team by the end of the week. Being part of a school soccer team for the first time in her life and experiencing team spirit has been one of the biggest highlights of her exchange year so far. She was a huge contributor to the team as a starter all season and was just awarded Honorable Mention NE8 All-Conference Defender.

She has now started training with the track team for the indoor and outdoor seasons this winter/spring. Being part of both teams has allowed her to build so many new relationships and has made her transition to Columbia City much easier.

Vici has experienced many “firsts” since arriving here. In addition to playing European football, she has a love for American football. She hasn’t missed a home football game yet and dresses for the theme every week.

We love her enthusiasm for trying new things, meeting new people, and embracing a new culture.

For the first time, she has also experienced a pool party, surfing behind a boat, Lake Michigan, church worship and youth group, a homecoming parade, a pumpkin farm, fall festivals, a corn maze, horseback trail riding, and Top Golf. We’ve enjoyed introducing her to many new American restaurants as well! Victoria loves baking and cooking, and she has shared this gift by making a few of her favorite German dishes for us.

A common interest that Vici and our family share is traveling. Before arriving in the U.S., we asked her where she would like to go and the Grand Canyon was at the top of her list. Recently, we were happy to make this dream a reality over our fall break. We hiked in the beautiful Grand Canyon and Sedona and relaxed in Phoenix.

We are looking forward to making more memories this year—perhaps with another trip. She likes to stay busy and we want her to experience all that she can in the short time she is with us. We have grown to love her and her family and are already making plans to visit them in Germany during the summer of 2024!

—Kim Bolinger (IN), host mom of Victoria (Germany)