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Mount Abe’s German exchange student looks back

Editor’s note: The writer of this piece last month finished her sophomore year at Mount Abraham Union High School in Bristol and wrote this piece in June reflecting on her time in Addison County.
Hey, my name is Pia Versick and I am an exchange student from Germany. I came to Vermont about nine month ago and immediately fell in love. The beautiful Green Mountains, Lake Champlain and all the amazing people I have met. Before I came I had no idea that Vermont was a state in the U.S., but now I can not think about living without maple syrup or Ben & Jerry’s anymore.
I would totally say that Vermont is my home and I would love to come back as often as possible to enjoy all of its beauty. It is by far the nicest state in the country.
I wanna give a couple of special thanks to special communities who helped finding friends and growing in my American life. I go to Mount Abraham Union High School and want to thank all the teachers and people who developed my English skills and were so nice to me over the year (Mr. Babbitt, Mrs. Grzyb, Mrs. Fitz-Gerald and many more). Also thanks to all my coaches I had during different sports who taught me all about it. Thank you as well for my counselor, Mrs. Van Schaack, and the school principal, Mrs. Lyman, for having me as an exchange student in their school. And Kelly, my coordinator.
I also wanna thank all my amazing friends who made me feel comfortable since the beginning. I would not have had such a great time without you. I’d never expect that I would find so many people to love and care about as an exchange student, but you guys are just the best. You guys are beautiful, talented and funny people and I really don’t know how I am able to go to school next year without you by my side. I love you.
This is for the Sherwins: Shawna, Bailey, Carley and Eric — my incredibly awesome host family. I only spent a short amount of time with you guys, but the past couple months were amazing!
I had so much fun with you and living with your family, I am really proud to consider myself as a Sherwin from now on. You welcomed me with so much love and excitement that I felt comfortable since day one. I think I can say that I found a home in your family: a warm place where you can laugh and sing as loud as you want, where no one judges, where people listen to your concerns, where everyone is there for each other.
I also had a roommate for the first time of my life and couldn’t ask for a better one. Thanks, Carley, that you shared your room with me, that you were my sister and always there for me when it was needed (and explaining the sarcasm which I never understood ).
Thanks, Bailey, for becoming my friend and host sister; you gave me a home when I was lost.
Thank you, Shawna and Eric, for being my host parents and agreeing to live with me; you also taught me a lot about cleaning (always use a wet towel).
It is incredible how much I love you, and really hard to get the right words that would describe what I feel.
I learned so much and you guys are such a big important part of my heart now, that that piece will always hurt when I’m without you.
I can’t really imagine waking up next year without Carley in my room or Bailey’s voice singing through the house.
I am so lucky that I could live with you and be part of your family. That you accepted me and my personality and gave me so much love and advice.
I think I fit in pretty well with you.
Lastly, I wanna say thank you to the rest of the family: Bonita and David, who were like real grandparents and friends to me; and Gigi, Cherri, Sheamus, Kayla and Sam for being such great, lovely people, and accepting me in your world.
I will miss everything so much. Every single piece. Thank you, everyone, for making this year the best year of my life.

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