Chloe Syzc sends North Penn her best from Germany


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Chloe Syzc is two months and six days into her junior year in Salzgitter, Germany. She has already made new friends, visited amazing places, and learned so much about herself and the world around her.  

It took a great amount of courage for Chloe to leave the place she lived her whole life and move across the world. She will be there until July of 2019 without seeing her family or friends back in America.

“It’s such an amazing opportunity.” Chloe reflected. “I have no regrets. Of course there are dips, there are bumps, there are turns. In no way, shape or form, am I saying this is easy, it’s hard. But it has opened up my eyes in so many different ways.” 

Her everyday life is so much different than a student attending North Penn, and it took some time for her to get used to all the changes.

For Chloe, one of the biggest differences between schools in Germany and America is the structure and beliefs of the school itself. Her school there, she says, is much more accommodating to students. There is less homework and she travels with her class together as a whole from subject to subject.

“Besides big trips, school is merely for education. In America, your school is your social life, but here, sports and other activities are outside of school.” Chloe explained.

Chloe’s first week was hard, because she had to listen to what people were saying in German, translate it into English, think of a response, translate that into German, then respond.

“It is mentally exhausting because of the language barrier.” Chloe expressed.

However, now that she is two months into her stay, she’s starting to even think in German. Being immersed in the culture twenty-four-seven is helping her to each day learn more and become more and more fluent in German.

“My whole life, and this is pretty normal because I lived in America, everything that I learned was an American point of view.” Chloe emphasized. “Another thing that’s from an American point of view are my text book Everything is written by an American or published in America.”

Another thing Chloe reflected on was the new perspective Germany brought her.

“I feel like the way that we saw the world was from an outsider looking in, and I really wanted to go on exchange because I wanted to see the world from another point of view. I wanted to get rid of that American filter and really see the world with some fresher eyes. I wanted to see how other people see America, because I only know how America sees everyone else.” 

Chloe still has a long way to go, but she’s enjoying every step of the way. She’s seen so many beautiful places, but she does have one in particular that speaks to her.

“I’ve been to so many beautiful places, but I think my favorite place here is my little terrace, or my little roof that I call it. I go there sometimes if I had a long day [or] if I just want a little me time. I just sit out there and watch the sunset, listen to music, and I go out there so often that now I am seeing the leaves change… I see all the little German houses with the red roofs, Germany is just so green and peaceful.”