WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Page 121 of 195

Connecting Lives and Sharing Cultures Jan Nowak experienced AFS before stepping on a plane for a school year in Germany. Throughout his childhood, he had heard his mother, Astrid, recount stories about her time as a German AFS exchange student in South Africa during the early 1980s. And, when he was in fifth grade, his family hosted an AFS student from Paraguay. Jan participated in the US State Department-funded exchange program, Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX). The US Congress and the German Parliament launched the program in 1983. Each year, AFS hosts 57 German scholars in the US and provides scholarships to 50 US high school students from the Northeast to spend a year in Germany. As one of those fortunate 50 students, Jan lived in the north of Germany about 285 miles from the Danish border. His host family — the dad German and the mother Thai — had an empty bedroom because their daughter was an AFS student in Finland. Jan relished the freedom of riding his bike to and from school and using the safe and efficient public transportation tram system, which, interestingly enough, Julian spoke about missing during his stay in the US. Jan enjoyed playing in a men's division club volley- ball team, just as Julian had played in a club soccer team in Switzerland. Jan savored the sausages and white aspara- gus and the Christmas markets. And, he improved his command of the German language to the point that his German- born mother comments, "He now sounds like a native." The only trade-off Jan acknowledges beyond missing his friends back home during his ten months with AFS abroad is the fact that he won't graduate with his high school class, since he repeated his junior year at Wellesley High School. 120 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 5 AFS Intercultural Programs Jan Nowak (far right) with host mom Noi, host aunt Tante Heinke, and host uncle Onkel Gunther INTERESTED IN HOSTING A STUDENT? n VISIT www.afsusa.org/host-family/ n CALL 1-800-AFS-INFO n EMAIL local chapter coordinator Astrid Lamparter-Nowak at alnowak@comcast.net INTERESTED IN STUDYING ABROAD? n VISIT www.afsusa.org/study-abroad/ n CALL all 1-800-AFS-INFO n EMAIL local chapter coordinator Astrid Lamparter-Nowak at alnowak@comcast.net J A N N O W A K J U L I A N V O L K E N

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