Student Blogs

The following blog posts are syndicated from recent Speedwell AFS Scholars who are currently studying abroad. These blogs currently include:

christinathepolyglot , GER , 2013
Janae Taft , FRA , 2016
Julia McIntosh , ITA , 2016
Naomi Rohrbaugh , ITA , 2016

My permanent host family placement

May 27, 2014
Author: (Lilly Cook)

Today was my lucky day!! After alllllllllll of the waiting that seemed like forever, I finally got my host family. While a lot of people have already gotten their host families, a lot are also still waiting. I feel very fortunate to have a family who chose me based on what they saw on my application..... Hopefully they can handle the Lilly.... Anyway, I was waiting for my friend to get out of class for lunch when I opened up my email on my iPod. I refreshed the page and there is was! "AFS: Your permanent host family placement". I literally started jumping up and down with excitement.

AFS Potluck

May 1, 2014
Author: (Lilly Cook)

This past weekend, my area chapter hosted a social potluck for any and all afs participants and family. While there, I talked to a student who is abroad in the US from Spain named Lluc. I loved talking to him because he could speak English really well, but he also had a thick Spanish accent. I asked what is something we have in the US that isn't in Spain and he said "peanut butter". I then asked what his favorite food in the US was and he again said "peanut butter". And finally I asked what is something he would miss after he leaves, and you could probably guess what he said.


April 21, 2014
Author: (Lilly Cook)

Today may have been the best day of my life so far. I was in third period when my mom texted me, telling me that I was accepted into AFS-Spain! The past 5 weeks and 5 days have been the longest ever. After I was accepted into AFS-USA they told me that my application would be reviewed by Spain in the next 4-6 weeks. Of course, being the super optimistic person I am, I was hoping for it to come sooner than that. Sadly, it did not. But happy now, I have been accepted into Spain! I have already started the visa process for Spain, and so far it is such a hassle!

AFS Guide for Participants

March 24, 2014
Author: (Lilly Cook)

Today my mom told me that I got a huge thick envelope from AFS today. Naturally, I got super excited and was practically jumping off the walls. Good news: I got a giant booklet with a whole bunch of information about what I can look forward to before and during studying abroad. Bad news: I still haven't been accepted by AFS-Spain. I think it's safe to say that that I will most likely be going to Spain next year, but I don't want to say that and then end up not getting accepted. How bad would that stink?

I guess all there is to do is wait.

March 23, 2014
Author: (Lilly Cook)

I feel stupid checking my email every 25 minutes. Every single time I click to open the app I think "My acceptance into AFS-Spain is going to be there." But then I look and it isn't. I know it's only been 2 weeks and it could take 4 weeks longer, but I just hate having to wait. I feel like I'm normally a pretty patient person ( I don't know ask my parents) but I feel like this whole process is bringing out the worst in me! I've been reading blogs constantly. I've finished all of the blogs of the kids in Spain so I've kinda been doing Italy and Portugal and others. 

Need closure.

March 22, 2014
Author: (Lilly Cook)

My name is Lilly and I am from South Pennsylvania. I started the AFS application process around mid November. It may have been the single longest process I have ever gone through, but in the end it was all worth it. 

Schnee, wo bist Du?

January 18, 2014

Christmas and New Year’s are already over, which means winter break is also over. Since the last time I posted, I celebrated New Year’s Eve or Silvester in German at a family friend’s house. And there, we had something called Raclette. Raclette is a Swiss dish and also a type of cheese. The cheese is heated under a special Raclette oven and then it is later scraped onto to plate. Raclette is eaten with potatoes, meat, corn, broccoli, mushrooms, and other vegetables.

Weihnachten in Deutschland

December 23, 2013
It’s finally my favorite time of year: Christmas! However, I noticed that Christmas in Germany is celebrated a lot different as it’s celebrated in the US. Christmas here in Germany is celebrated on December 24 (Heiligabend “Holy Evening”. The 25th and 26th of December are the first and second days of Christmas, which are the days for relatives to visit.


November 26, 2013

On Sunday, I went to Frankfurt and to a curry wurst restaurant called Bestworscht. There you can order curry wurst with different levels of spiciness: A to F (A being the least and F being the spiciest). A couple years ago, I wasn’t able to eat any spicy foods at all. But maybe two or three years ago, I built up my tolerance to spicy foods, and now I love to eat spicy food.  Anyways.. I ordered a B+-which is the third level on the scale. The first bite was really spicy, and then the rest I couldn’t taste the spiciness at all. With it, I had french fries with ketchup and mayonnaise.

One Dream

November 24, 2013
Author: (Ray Jenkins)

Gedanken und Meinungen

November 15, 2013

Ich wohne schon in Deutschland seit twei Monate. Ich habe viel Unterschiede zwischen amerikanischen Kultur und deutschen Kultur gemerkt, und unten steht meine Gedanken und Meinungen von meiner Beobactungen.

I’ve already been in Deutschland for 2 months. I’ve noticed a lot of differences between American and German cultures, and below are my thoughts and opinions from of my observations: