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Frau Walther Helps Vikings Set Sail

Frau+Walther+Helps+Vikings+Set+Sail
Tiffany Hagan

Sunnyslope German Teacher Mary Walther assisted Junior Haley Trice in applying for international education opportunities for students who want to study abroad, according to Walther.

Walther has completed the rare task of getting high school students abroad in the past because, according to the Council on International Educational Exchange only about 2% of U.S. students study abroad during high school. 

With the help of Walther, Sunnyslope students have been granted a chance to take advantage of this slim opportunity.

One such student, Trice, is in the process of applying to travel to Korea over the summer through a program called the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y).

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“I first found out about it from Frau Walther and some of the students she would bring in because she would bring in students who had gone on similar opportunities,” Trice said, “I just saw that this one’s application was opened and applied.”

She had her second interview scheduled for the 26th of January before the final decision will be made later this school year.

“I was so excited! I saw an email from them and I immediately ran to my dad like ‘Oh my God look, look, look!’” said Trice.

Trice is currently in AP German but has been studying Korean online for about six months now; although she is proficient in Korean, knowing the language of the country is not a requirement.

“You need to be a US Citizen, but other than that there really isn’t a lot, it’s just people who are eager to learn the language and the culture and who, of course, are able to travel abroad,” Trice said.

While Trice is not positive exactly what activities she will be participating in for her two weeks abroad, she is excited to do a lot of cultural activities so she can learn more about the region, history, and culture.

Despite the distance, her parents have “been very supportive” throughout the process and Trice said “I am very grateful for their support. My entire German class has also been very supportive as a group, we’re all just like one big family.”

Much like other exchange programs, NSLI-Y is funded completely by the U.S. State Department including three meals a day, trip expeditions, and lodging alongside the host family.

However, NSLI-Y is not the only program available to Sunnyslope students–Walther has also recommended interested students to the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX), and Phoenix Sister Cities.

Sunnyslope Viking–Senior Xochilt Luna– is currently studying in Northern Germany because of CBYX, as well as another anonymous student who is currently in the application process alongside Trice.

Although the chances of being chosen may seem unlikely considering the percentage of U.S. students who study abroad, Walther assures students that “In the Southwest we have a lot fewer people applying to things, if you live around Washington DC, that’s the federal government so everybody knows about what’s available, here it’s not promoted as much. It’s more likely that they will get it because they live in this region.”

Any Sunnyslope students who are interested in spending a year abroad shouldn’t let the daunting application process deter them from submitting an application.

While the applications require an interview and some paperwork, Trice says, “They’re not looking for stellar students or anything, they just want people who are eager to be there.”

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