What is Foreign Exchange to Me?

"A year of of my life. My life in a year."

Google Translate (Google Übersetzer)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

A Girl in Ghana

Did you enjoy Angie's Odyssey and all of the adventures and cultural experiences that went along with it? Well if so, you're in luck as new adventures are afoot! On August 6th, 2016 I am moving to Ghana for six months so be sure to follow along for the ride!

You can visit the new (work in progress) blog here: A Girl in Ghana

I look forward to seeing you all again!

- Angie

Friday, October 26, 2012

Best Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language

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Angie: “Mom, I want to be an exchange student.”
Mom: “Hah, okay tell me again in a week. Then I’ll know your serious.”
This conversation happened every single Wednesday night after I got home from meeting up with my sailing crewIMG_0957 for four months straight. Without fail. Even if the meeting was canceled, you can bet at 9:17 p.m. on Wednesday night, I was reminding my mother of how badly I wanted to travel.
People have told me both that I’m crazy, and that I am the most courageous person they have ever met. Apparently not every 17 year old wants to see the world, a concept I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand, but I wanted to fluently learn to speak another language, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do it.
Not only is learning a foreign language fun… but it enhances every aspect of traveling in matters such as safety and saving money, as well as the little things, like being able to order a meal all by yourself. It was always the little things that made me feel the best when I was learning German, like when a stranger on the street asked me what time it was… and I actually understood what they were asking me. I’ll never forget the time I almost ran over an old lady on my bike. She started angrily waving her cane at me at the cross walk where we both waited, and I couldn’t help but burst out laughing simply because I was so happy to understand what she was saying.
Languages enhance travel experiences in so many ways, the biggest being the language is based on the culture, so if you want to really understand the culture, you need to understand and speak the language. For example, a common German stereotype is that Germans are punctual… and the language reflects this. If I were to say “See you soon” in English, I could mean in five minuteP7140597s, tomorrow, next week, or even in a year. “Soon” does not have a definitive time frame where as in German one can say “Bis gleich” (until within the hour) “Bis später” (until sometime later today) “Bis Bald” (until sometime in the relatively near future but at the earliest tomorrow) and “Bis irgendwann” (until eventually), but in English, “See you soon” or “Until soon” is the equivalent of all those things! (Note how often in English speaking countries it’s normal to be ‘fashionably late’ whereas in Germany anything less than 15 minutes early is late!) When saying goodbye to my German friends I would often say “Bis gleich” when I wasn’t going to be seeing them for days, and they would look at me as if I were crazy!
Traveling and experiencing life from other perspectives can influence every aspect of someone's life. For me, bIMG_0295ecause Germany is very eco-friendly, I try to mimic that lifestyle back here in California. I always hang dry my clothes outside, bike to school, and unplug my electronics when they’re not being used to save electricity. I now have friends to visit on literally every continent in the world (aside from MAYBE Antarctica!), all because the German language united us! I know countless people who can’t speak a word of English, yet they are some of the people I feel closest too, all because I took the time and effort to learn PB061838their culture, and by default their language. My second host family is a perfect example of this. I love my host-dad more than almost anyone in the world, yet his English is about a good as my Hindi (and let it be noted I don’t even know how to say “hello” in Hindi).
Ever heard the expression “There’s always more fish in the sea?” Well for people who only speak one language, the expression should be modified too something like “There’s always more fish in the puddle.” Not only does traveling allow you to see the world, but the people who live in it as well. Imagine being from Whales and walking up to an English speaker and saying “Actually, the sun does shine from my ass." Not only will this cause a lot of confusion, but seeing as the pick-up line doesn’t translate, the person probably won’t even know they’re being hit on! My fourth host-parents met while traveling… my host-mom was from Quebec, and my host-dad from Germany… and now they speak English because it’s a ‘mutual’ language a.k.a. not either of their first languages.
Last but certainly not least ( There had to be cliché somewhere in this post!), my personal favorite reason to travel and learn new languages is all the mess ups while trying to learn. A couple of my personal favorites include:
Erik: “Hey Angie! What’s the English word for dick?”
-‘Dick’ means fat in German-
Felix: “We all have to puke on Angie! No, that’s the wrong word! We all have to sleep on Angie!”
*In German*
Angie: “Hey are your balls cold? No no! I meant are your ears cold?!”
No matter what language you’re trying to learn, embrace the mistakes! Not only will it make it more fun to learn, but if you’re not afraid to mess up, it will be a lot easier too! And maybe it’ll even help you remember things. I know I’ll never mix up testicles and ears in German again!
 Winking smile
Vote for this entry before November 8th 2012  by clicking here! Thanks a ton!
P.S. I want to give a special thanks to one of my readers for the idea to write this post. Learn English with Kaplan today!
The Benefits of Learning Languages

Monday, October 8, 2012

Times Are A Changin

Before I was an exchange student, change was one of my biggest fears. But you know, after living with four families you don’t know from Adam, and moving to a country where the only things you can say in the language are ‘Bless you’ and ‘Sh*t…’ you learn to get over your fears real quick. That is why “Angie’s Odyssey” will be going through some formatting changes over the next *insert relatively long time span here.* But don’t worry, no matter how odd or different the background looks, it will be the same good old “Angie’s Odyssey” that we’ve all grown to (hopefully) love!
Speaking of loving, be sure to like “Angie’s Odyssey” on Facebook by clicking on the link on the top left hand corner of this page!
P.S. Rotary Clubs really are everywhere! I was at my little brother’s football game today and saw this sign on my way back to my car

Friday, October 5, 2012

It’s Been a While

I’m quite sad now. I finally got around to doing a long, updated post. And then, like every writer does at some point or another, I accidentally deleted it when I meant to save it. Simply awesome. So here we go again (though I have to work tomorrow so this will probably be much shorter!)

I feel like being a college student is an ever going cycle. Because I am in college I have no time IMG_1042to travel, but if I didn’t go to college, I wouldn’t be able to get a job; therefore, while I might have the time, I wouldn't have the money to travel! I know college will help me in the long run, but being stuck back in my home town while sick with the travel bug stinks!

I love the reaction I get whenever I tell people I fluently speak German. They ask me to say something in it and their response is always, “But you’re a sweet, innocent girl! How could something so scary sounding be coming from you!?” Maybe it’s because I’m a linguistics person, but German has never really sounded scary to me… though I will say I do sometimes think Germans decided how to spell words by randomly choosing 31 letters out of a hat. A perfect example would be words like


Believe it or not, this means ‘maximum speed limit,’ and I actually have used it in a normal conversation (and conveniently enough it has exactly 31 letters).

Random Person: What you speak German!? Say ‘Hello!’

Angie: …Hallo.

Never gets old. Winking smile

So let’s see, what’s new!? I have somehow managed to get straight A’s so far this semester (for all you Germans out there,that means I’ve gotten 13, 14, or 15 on all of my Prüfungen so far), and I’m also the German tutor. I absolutely love doing this because not only do I (apparently) get to help people improve their German grades (I’m quite altruistic at heart), but I get to teach people about strange German words and expressions such as ‘geil.’ While the Germans may be EXTREAMLY efficient in both their language and the way they run their country, they somehow made the mistake of making the word for ‘awesome’ and ‘horny’ be the same thing. After answering a difficult  question correctly, one of my German students said, “Ich bin so geil,” and while he IMG_1047intended to tell me “I am extremely awesome,” he actually informed me that he is, in fact, extremely horny. After correcting him, he thanked me for my ‘kindheartedness,’ rather than me allowing him to walk up to a group of Germans this summer during his internships and inform them of his ‘horny-ness.’

*Explaining a topic in math*

Angie: Ach ja! Das stimmt!

Ali: What does stimmt mean…?

Angie: It’s like… ‘agreed’ in German.

I’m also an active member of the Political Science Club at my college (this would be a great time for me to post photos, but my camera has still not been located Sad smile ), and I would encourage everyone (whether you are American or not) to keep updated on the presidential election happening this November!

Conveniently enough, one of my managers (at my second job) speaks some German. The only downside to this is if I’m ever upset around him, he can usually understand the (inappropriate) things I’m saying under my breath. And I should really get out of the habit of answering the phone in German while at work too…

Despite going to school for 19 hours a week ( a college student is considered to be a “full time student” at 12 hours a week) and working 25-30 hours a week, I still manage to have time for fun with my best friend… even if we are a little strange at times.


Hope you all have a nice week, und Deutschland, ich vermisse dich so unglaublich sehr!

Changing It Up a Bit

Seeing as I still write this blog, the previous subtitle, “A California Girl in Germany” now seems inappropriate… while I may always be a Californian girl…. I won’t always live in Germany, so the title has officially been modified from

“Angie’s Odyssey – A California Girl in Germany”german header new


“Angie’s Odyssey – A ‘Germanized’ Girl in California”New Banner

and let me assure you, I have most certainly been Germanized in multiple regards. Even now, after I have been in California for two and a half months, I still start conversations with people I don’t know in German and eat ‘the German way.’

Monday, September 24, 2012

Yes is Always the Answer

I promise I’ll write soon, I started a new job this week (on top of already tutoring German and going to school full time) and most of my friends have been leaving this week to go off to school, so I’ve been busy saying goodbye and with work, but I just had to share this with you all, I miss moments like this so much! Yaaay language barriers!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Phineas and Ferb

My younger brother has been sick the past few days, so in my free time (or rather, in time I could be doing productive things but choose not too) I have been watching television with him to keep him company and today while we were watching Phineas and Ferb, one of the characters randomly starting speaking German. Phineas and Ferb was already an epic show, but the random German simply made it the coolest Disney show ever.

Days in Germany