Running Cross Country, Across the World
PAX exchange student from Germany poses in front of her high school’s trophy display case in Georgia
Yufei becomes part of a very strong sporting tradition in GA.

German student finds stride at Georgia school 

My high school is named Brookwood High School and it has around 3,500 students.

Before I had my first day of school, I was really nervous that I would get lost or that people wouldn't want to talk with me. I was especially nervous before lunch, because we all know that scenario, when the "new kid" doesn't know where to sit. But actually I didn't need to be nervous at all. Yes, I got lost but I wasn't the only one, all the freshmen were new too and there were a lot of very friendly teachers and students who were willing to help.

In all my classes the students were really interested to learn about my home country and they asked me a lot of questions. When they said a word I didn't understand they patiently explained it to me. When it was time for lunch I didn't know what to do, so the first five minutes of my lunch time, I just stood there. Luckily I found my host cousin and she introduced me to all her friends. So I had lunch with them and was just so relieved I found someone to sit with during lunch.

At my school, sport is a really big thing and almost everyone does a sport. I decided to do cross country and that was a good decision because that way I got to know a lot of new people and it also keeps me fit. It’s really exhausting but it is super fun. You can talk to people while you run and you can easily make friends. I also enjoy the meets because all the parents and athletes cheer for each other. You can really feel the school spirit. Now I’ve been going to this high school for almost two months and I enjoy it a lot and I’m excited for the next few months!

—Yufei (Germany), hosted by the Von Sander family (GA)