So, there’s an article about me in my local newspaper here in Germany, and I want all my friends and family to be able to read it! This is the original site:
So here’s my best try at a pretty direct sentence-for-sentence translation. Enjoy!
"I am in love with Döner"
The American, Karlie Naphy, proves herself to be multi-cultural- A guest to a Serbian family in Germany
She is 16 years young, bubbly, open-minded, and chatters on cheerfully when the topic is about her stay in Germany or her American homeland. The talk is from Karlie Naphy, a young exchange student who in her stay also comes across the tracks of her great-great-grandparents. She is a guest to the Petkovic family in Oberboihingen.
Whoever Karlie gets to know is surprised by her good knowledge of the German language. The young woman from Gloucester Township, New Jersey on the East Coast of the United States taught herself German. As English is a World Language, one is challenged little to learn foreign languages. For Karlie Naphy, that doesn’t apply.
-Even when the great-great-grandparents stemmed from Stuttgart. The curiosity for Germany was awakened by the exchange students who have found acceptance in the Naphy family in the past years. Karlie speaks enthusiastically about her “German siblings”.
One of the “brothers” had relieved the first steps into the German language. Upon his stay in Gloucester Township, Karlie’s determination to be an exchange student for a year in Germany for a year ripened. The Nürnberger cause fully furnished the Naphy house with post-its with the matching German words. The young woman acquired deeper language understanding through the internet. She got supporting courses from her organization AFS Intercultural who organized her exchange and who also mentor the students here.
The visit made possible by a scholarship of the Bundestag
She had ‘worked hard’ on the application process to obtain the exchange. A scholarship of the “Parlamentarischen Patenschaftsprogramm des Deutschen Bundestags” helps with the financing and make it possible for her to get to know different perspectives of Germany. For instance, in May, she and other exchange students are invited to Berlin.
Karlie Naphy’s first station in Germany was with a family in Biberach. Since January, she’s has been living with the family of Ljubomir and Adrijana Petkovic in Oberboihingen- “I quite at home here.” Together with their daughter Luna, Karlie goes to school at the Fritz-Ruoff-Schule in Nürtingen. In Oberboihingen, Karlie has not only the chance to get to know the German lifestyle, but also to have an insight of Serbian culture.
A young American as a guest in Germany to a Serbian family, that is a combination that Karlie really likes. Karlie feels at ease in Oberboihingen, even though the normal day here goes completely than what she’s used to at home.
Ask about the biggest challenge that she is confronted with, Karlie refers spontaneously to the public transportation. In the USA, she uses the school bus. It stops only a several steps from her parent’s house. Apart from that, there is a circut of mothers ready who chauffeur kids everywhere. To ride with a public train or bus is unknown to Karlie. And also reading a schedule. In the meantime, it works very well as the young American moves about in the region rather independent.
The school was also new for her. While in America where every school day has the same schedule and class participation is barely required or graded, she experiences school here different, more tiring. Here she is confronted with changing schedules and has to think everyday about what needs to be packed for school. To her liking, students are more often orally prompted and have to make frequent presentations. Speaking in front of the class is indeed something she does happily. At best, she talks about her American homeland, and even lays down some cliches about America and Americans to be right.
Karlie also recognizes differences with food. In Germany, a lot of bread is eaten. She got used to that a while ago. And her cultural open-mindedness also shows in a complete different area: “I am in love with kebab”, this Turkish dish is unfortunately not available at home.
Karlie is taken in by the Petkovics in Oberboihingen as a daughter. Like Adrijana Petkovic said, just as she hopes her own daughter would be taken in. Besides, she finds this encounter with the young American to be rewarding for everyone.
Of course, Karlie confesses, she does get homesick. In the beginning of her stay, she counted the months she had left to overcome until she could fly back home. Now she is counting the remaining time with great melancholy. She likes Germany so much that what she wants most is to come back to study in a German university.