To the editor:
It's almost time to say goodbye to another Hans Joohs exchange participant. I'm looking forward to seeing Conny again before she heads to the East Coast and then home. We met this summer when I was in Ulm as the 2011 Hans Joohs representative. Talking with some former Ulm and New Ulm exchange participants, many of us found our time abroad to be some of the most influential months of our lives. To travel across the world and find that host families, workplaces, and an entire community are eager to welcome and converse with you is an amazing experience.
This past summer the Hans Joohs program allowed me to live with incredible host-families, play an organ concert in the world's tallest church, hike in the Swiss Alps, explore the workings of the European Union, learn children's songs at a summer camp, hear some of the leading musicians in Europe, tag along for a VW Beetle derby, and make meaningful connections with many of the people I met.
It will soon be time to select the 2012 participant. While there are more opportunities than ever to study and live abroad the Hans Joohs program offers something unique: participation in a decades-long tradition of cross-cultural exchange between two cities with fascinating histories. If you are interested in the challenges and rewards of living abroad and deepening this historical connection, I urge you to apply.