13 questions with junior Alex Indina


Shannon Smith

Junior Alex Indina practices for a forensics tournament.

Junior Alex Indina is a foreign exchange student from Germany. She wanted to come to America, because she believes travel is the best form of education and that it would be a life changing experience.

  1. What made you want to become a foreign exchange student?

“I love to travel and meet new people. Traveling is the best education, especially if you do it on your own. It’s the fact that spending a year in a different country is a life changing, unforgettable experience. Additionally, you grow as an individual in so many ways.”

  1. What steps did you have to take to become a foreign exchange student?

“There are many organizations and programs which offer students to study abroad. I had to fill out a lot of papers, get a visa, get all the necessary vaccinations, and I had to visit some preparation classes which were made by my organization. Exchange years are not cheap, so I also applied for a scholarship which covered most of my costs. Luckily, to convince my Mom to let me go to America for a year was not a big deal.”

  1. Did you get to choose where in America you moved to or was it random?

“It was random. I chose the program where the host family in America can choose their exchange student. So yeah, that’s how I ended up in Hays, Kansas surrounded by miles of long fields.”

  1. How is school in America compared to school in Germany?

“I could write a whole book about the differences between the German and American school system. They literally have nothing in common. In Germany, the students have their own classrooms and the teachers have to pass. Also, you always have the same students around you, in every subject. Sadly, until the 10th grade German students cannot choose any subjects. You get a strict schedule with 14 specific subjects (the schedule is for a week, and not for 2 days like here). Also, the grades are different: First of all, we have numbers, so 1 to 6 instead A to F. And if you get 60% wrong on your test, you get a 3 which equals a B- in America.”

  1. What is one thing that you miss about Germany?

“Beer, which you can drink legally at the age of 16. No, I actually just miss my family and my friends.”

  1. Do you ever get homesick?

“There were couple times where I wished I could see my family and friends, but I have never been to the point where I actually wanted to go back.”

  1. Does not having English as your first language sometimes make your classwork hard?

“Yes, especially if it’s about listening. Sometimes it’s hard catch all words.”

  1. How many languages do you speak and what are they?

“Six languages: Russian, French, Spanish, English, German and Swiss German.”

  1. How was it adjusting to living with a host family?

“I luckily got a very nice family which also has many similarities with my family in Germany. I adapted to the host family pretty fast and I feel comfortable when I’m with them.”

  1. What was the hardest thing you had to get used to while living in America?

“The American accent since everyone in Germany speaks English with a German accent. At the beginning it was very difficult to me to understand the words even though I knew the vocabulary.”

  1. What are you going to miss the most about living in America?

“Definitely the people. Americans are very open, chatty, friendly and optimistic people. I will also miss the beautiful Kansas sunsets.”

  1. What are you going to miss the least about living in America?

“The food because European countries really have better and fresher food.”

  1. Do you ever see yourself moving back to America at some point in your life?

“Yes, I really would love to spend couple more years in America to explore more places and meet more people.”