Amelie Vogl

Aubrie Hickmon, News Editor

Amelie Vogl is a junior at Bingham High School and a foreign exchange student from Germany. Many students might know a foreign exchange student—whether it be this year or in past years—but many might not know how the program works.

Vogl is under scholarship with the Germany-America foreign exchange program Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange. CBYX was founded in 1983, the 300th year anniversary of the first German immigration to the United States. According to CBYX’s website, the program was designed to, “strengthen ties between Germany and the United States through citizen diplomacy.” Over 24,000 students have participated in this program alone.

In order to participate in this program, Vogl had to submit an essay about herself, do a presentation on a type of world politics, and go through an interview. The entire process took an entire year. Vogl was allowed to choose the country she went to but not the state because of the scholarship she is on. Without the scholarship, students are allowed to choose the state, but for an extra cost. When asked why she chose America, Vogl said, “I’ve always liked the English language and I was always interested in America.”

Foreign exchange students stay with a family who is not theirs during the school year that they spend in a different country. When asked about the family she’s staying with—the Thomases—Vogl said, “They’ve been so welcoming to me and I feel really at home with the Thomases.” She also said that some people don’t feel welcomed and that they don’t enjoy staying with their family. When asked about what her favorite part of Bingham, Vogl said, “I like the school system because you have more variety of classes… [also] the school spirit… You don’t really have school spirit in Germany.” Vogl thinks it is strange that people in Utah don’t walk everywhere. Instead, they drive because you can’t really reach places by walking. Vogl also loves how friendly people are. “Everyone asks, ‘How are you doing?’ That’s not something you do in Germany.” Vogl talked about how in her hometown in Germany, it’s a lot more intimate. Everyone knows each other and they even have parties in the middle of the town.

Vogl said that she would definitely recommend the foreign exchange program to other people. “You’re just more open-minded, I guess because you know a different culture and a different way of life.” Many people who are not from America picture it a certain way and Vogl is no exception. She said that she pictured everything to be big and it definitely is. Laughing she said, “Even the washing machine is bigger.” She is glad that people in America are more open and ask how you are doing. So if you see Vogl in the hallway, be sure to show that American hospitality and say hello.