SIOUX Center, Iowa – Sioux Middle Substantial University pupil Claire Opdahl is a single of 250 students throughout the United States chosen to commit a 12 months in Germany.
Opdahl have been picked for the Congress-Bundestag You Exchange Scholarship, a U.S. Department of Point out totally funded trade program. College students who take part in the plan find out about German culture by residing with a host relatives and attending a German large university for a yr.
Opdahl started looking for a review abroad system in August 2021. She required to see other ordeals exterior of Sioux Center and has desired to vacation.
The principal problem: most applications are high priced, upwards of $16,000 for a calendar year.
“A whole lot of people see that and quit there but I was like ‘I’m not heading to cease there, I’m heading to see if there are any scholarships,’” she said.
There are a variety of scholarship-based review-overseas programs, but Opdahl had formerly taken a DNA check to uncover out her genetic history. She located out that she is 70 p.c German.
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When she uncovered the government-funded analyze overseas plan to Germany, she believed it was a perfect suit.
“That’s why I was initial fascinated in the application,” she stated.
Opdahl had to create 5 small essays, a letter to the likely host family, two recommendation letters, and investigate details on local governing administration reps. In November she did a virtual job interview and then heard nothing for many months.
5 or six months afterwards, Opdahl acquired confirmation that she was a semifinalist and soon after, was accepted for the program.
Opdahl‘s mother, Connie, mentioned she felt it was meant to be. She stated it is not going to be an effortless calendar year, but the total spouse and children is supportive of her.
She stated Claire likes to see “outside of the box” and desires to department out from the common university student course.
Opdahl mentioned it does not truly feel genuine yet. She leaves August 16 for a language camp in which she will invest a month before conference her host family members.
She will dwell in Brühl, Germany as a junior at Max-Ernst-Gymnasium school. Her host household has three sisters, but just one will be researching overseas in Texas though Opdahl is there.
“They truly like traveling which I hope to be in a position to do,” she reported.
Opdahl has immune thrombocytopenia, and autoimmune disorder. She mentioned it boundaries the functions she can do, such as athletics, but has been in remission for 3 decades.
Given that she has been restricted in the forms of athletics she can do, it has pushed her to discover other routines in existence to observe.
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Trade was started in 1983 and is readily available to college students, latest graduates and youthful pros in 11 states.
Right before even heading on the trip, she has been generating new connections due to the fact of people in the group that have been to Germany of has a connection to Germany.
The system was created by the U.S. Section of State’s Bureau of Academic and Cultural Affairs. The division encourages international mutual knowing concerning the folks of the United States and the people today of other nations through a selection of educational, cultural, personal-sector, skilled and sports trade systems.
It is administered by Youth for Understanding United states of america which also provides a wide assortment of possibilities for people to see the planet.