Step 1: Six hour flight to Frankfurt <---not including time on the runway. I better be sitting next to someone who firstly doesn't sleep and secondly plays a mean game of Egyptian Rat Screw.
Step 2: Eight and a half hour train ride to Berlin. This step convinced me I'm going to die on this journey.
Step 3: Two hour car ride from Berlin to my house. I will be extremely surprised if I don't nod off in the car.
I will arrive in Forst around 10 pm their time. And considering my hair will not have seen a straightener in at least 16 hours, it will be what's commonly referred to as a m-i-r-a-c-l-e if I don't look like complete bollocks for my first introduction to the host fam. I only pray it doesn't rain. But maybe that God hates me too...
Anyhow, I read a blog entry the other day that entertained me with lists about some guys AFS experience in the Netherlands. Being the blog pirate that I am, I decided to jack his idea...or I suppose his "booty" for less of a better word. I was also asked through a comment for any advice to get the CBYX scholarship. So I shall combine both brilliant ideas, neither of which are mine.
Five Things That May Help You Win a CBYX Scholarship
1. Dress for success. You'll have an interview somewhere along the road against other kids vying for the scholarship. When I woke up that morning I put on jeans and a T-shirt like a complete twit. If it were not for an argument with my Stepmom in which I wanted to punch her in the face for trying to help me, I would have came into a room of claddly dressed kids dressed like I was going to school. Luckily, I acquiesced to her wishes and wore big kid clothes. When I was doing my interview, they promptly complemented the color blue I was wearing. Kudos to Marilyn.
2. Have things that the interviewer will remember you for. Whether this be experiences you bring up, sayings you use, or how polite you are, make sure you're not just another face in the crowd. As an example, I talked about dealing with my mothers disease as an example of why I'm mature enough to go abroad and was also full of unintentional sayings. Like, when they asked me how I would deal with German bluntness, I decided I would use the saying, " I would take it with a grain of salt", but being the dimwit I am, I forgot the words to the saying. Was it rocks...no...sand..no... and out of my mouth came "I'll take it with a grain of sugar". Instantly I knew it came out completely wrong. But then all the interviewers started laughing and going "Oh she's so clever, take it with a grain of sugar! Cunning!" thinking I did that on purpose. In fact, no. I did not. Did I admit this? Of course not. They remembered me for it.
3. Don't come off like a total tool. Remember that although seeming polite is important, you're not trying to be a lapdog, your trying to prove your capable of handling the responsibilities of an exchange student. Prepare examples of things you've done in the past that tells them you've faced challenges in your life that may have given you skills needed for a year abroad. This being said, there's something to be said for admitting a year abroad would be a huge challenge for you BUT one your ready to face.
4. Have your parents at the interview. Not only does it give a comfort level, but it shows that you have a steady support system that will help you get to Germany. They also get to ask questions and speak with the parents of other interviewers.
5. Breath. You'll be hit with some rather odd questions that you can't prepare for and I'm convinced are designed to throw you off. Think them through! Don't just have verbal diarea explode out of your mouth. Make it a conversation with the interviewers because they are people too and you'll be more relaxed if you laugh a little and aren't so stiff.
I know I mostly talked about the interview, but as long as you have decent grades and fair teacher recommendations your set. Its the interview that I found the most pivotal. Also, good bit of luck might help as well and probably attributed to my acceptance. I mean, can you imagine if I had said " Take it with a grain of sand?"...yeah, no.
And now a picture for your viewing pleeeeaa-sha.
Peggy and Chris in Amsterdam.