Chloe Gardner Studying Abroad

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Chloe Gardner Studying Abroad

Lorelei Yarbrough, Staff Writer

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Next semester one of Bethel’s students, Chloe Gardner, will be studying abroad for a full school year in Germany. She worked hard to get this opportunity through a long process from essays to interviews.

In the fall of 2018, Chloe did research online about studying abroad and applied at Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) for a scholarship, she applied online at usagermanyscholarship.org. Chloe had to provide teacher recommendations, write six mini-essays and a variety of things such as what she would share with foreigners about her home and why she wanted to get into the program, as well as a challenge she faced. Six essays later, Chloe Gardner traveled out of Oklahoma to be interviewed in Virginia last February. Weeks later, Chloe received the news that she will able to study abroad in Germany during her junior year.

Chloe does not yet know what school she will be attending, she states“ I will just be attending a local German gymnasium (the high school), but I don’t know exactly where.” The extracurricular activities that most schools provide, like art and band, are done through the community, which will be a drastic change. Chloe said, ”I will miss the Bethel spirit,” but she is looking forward to the community experience regardless.

If moving across countries doesn’t scare you, Chloe does not yet know the hostess family she will be staying with. It takes a bit of time to find a family willing to bring a new person into their life. The language barrier alone is enough to cause anyone to panic. She has to learn a difficult language in order to make new friends and talk to her host family. Living in a foreign country and not being able to speak the language makes creating a life very difficult. Chloe will be attending a language camp for four weeks in an 800-year-old  monastery, which she says she is ecstatic about going to and will help her catch on quickly.

Chloe is sad to be leaving her wonderful school.  She states, “Leaving my family and friends and trying to make new ones in a language I currently cannot speak will be the hardest part of studying abroad. It will take time to make relationships with people.” Yet, she is very positive it will be an amazing opportunity.

Chloe is well-known throughout the school. Her friends will miss her dearly, but they could not be more proud of her. Her optimistic personality and humor makes everyone’s day better. Journey Wilson states, ” Every time I see Chloe, she makes me smile and laugh. I will miss her a ton. But there is no one who deserves this more than she does.”

Living in Germany for a year will be a challenge, but Chloe will thrive. She has the drive to succeed and the personality to charm anyone. The opportunity wasn’t just handed to her; she worked hard and earned it all. Bethel will miss Chloe dearly, but we will support her the whole way.