The Catalyst

Gabrielle Kosiba Takes Germany

Jordan Whaley

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Gabrielle Kosiba is an HHS student who studied abroad in Germany. Her exchange was one which changed her life forever. During this year-long exchange, Kosiba was able to completely immerse herself in the German culture. She packed up her belongings on July 31, 2015, and began her journey.

Life in Germany was a completely different experience, from learning how to take public transportation to get to school to just knowing proper etiquette at the dinner table. Each little thing that Kosiba was accustomed to in America was altered. She was able to physically and mentally evaluate her actions, which were so interesting to the Germans. Due to her prior language skills of German and her dedication, Kosiba was able to comfortably break the language barrier.

“I took two years of German in middle school, 7th grade I took it as a class,” Kosiba said. She said there weren’t a lot of students interested in German, so she had to travel to East Middle school for first hour. Then in eighth grade Kosiba took an online course, which did not give her what she wanted to exceed in German, but did offer a summer camp based on the German language. After this, Kosiba took this as an inspiration to study abroad.

Kosiba said that asking questions and showing people that she wanted to learn allowed for a better transition in learning German. She applied this knowledge to her school life and made sure to put her best efforts into her classes.

“The more you practice it, the more you do it, the easier it’s going to come,” Kosiba said. By the end of her exchange, she was able to write full essays in German.

Alongside with learning German came, of course, using that German. To maintain her social life, Kosiba made sure to reach out to students in her class. “I made sure to reach out to girls when I heard them talking about going to the mall,” she said.

As any teenager, Kosiba did experience her downs. With the help of her host parents, she was able to use methods such as taking a jog, drinking a cup of tea or even just taking a soothing bath with some essential bath salts. Through these tough times, Kosiba gained a deeper trust and connection with her host parents and tricks to take back with her to America.

Still, after almost two years later, Kosiba stays connected with some of her closest friends in Germany. She encourages students who want to study abroad to look into it with an open mind and go for it because it allows so much growth and knowledge.

Amelie, Gabrielle, and Andreas in Triberg, Germany

Gabrielle and Karola

Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Gabrielle Kosiba Takes Germany