YouTube was how Naomi Adler ’24 realized she was interested in studying abroad.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic while she was spending a lot of time at home, Adler found a YouTuber who participated in a foreign exchange program, and she soon became inspired to travel to Europe for schooling herself.
In the spring of 2021, she participated in a competitive application process and was ultimately accepted into the Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), an immersive exchange program jointly offered by the United States and German governments. Adler spent the 2021-2022 school year attending a German high school, living with a host family, learning the German language and immersing herself in the culture.
“It was an amazing time,” she said. “It was a great program.”
Since many of Adler’s classes at her German high school were held weekly instead of daily, she was able to take on a variety of subjects. She also had the opportunity to learn German with others from around the world at a local community school.
Adler’s experience offered her unique academic opportunities, and it also allowed her to see exciting new places. During her time abroad, Adler traveled frequently, visiting the Netherlands as well as German cities such as Berlin, Hanover, Hamburg, Bremen, and Heidelberg. The widespread availability of public transportation such as trains and buses afforded her a sense of independence as she explored.
As a result of her experience abroad, Adler gained confidence as she figured out things on her own, apart from her parents. Her time in a different country also helped her feel more prepared for going away to college, because she had to persevere through homesickness.
“I’ve done that before; I can do that again,” she said.