For the uninitiated, the IFC is a program the FSG conducts that allows students in grade 10 from different parts of the globe to participate with a German class, taught in English for one year. The goal of this annual project is to bring young adults from around the world to interact and connect with those from cultures they would only hear about, but would most likely never experience in person. In the world of growing unification and globalization, our desired result with this project is to create an everlasting peace, create friendships, learn and understand people from backgrounds we typically stereotype and judge. I have travelled to other countries countless times before, but this is the first time I felt like I was truly stepping to new territory. I was always handheld during oversea trips and met people that my relatives already knew, so I never felt out of my comfort zone and always in a controlled area. With the IFC I felt like it was my trip, my experience. Meeting new people felt more organic and I ventured to places without the influence of my parents. I can never appreciate this opportunity enough to have new friends from different cultures, the chemistry between completely different people made me feel like I was living in a movie. The unrelenting stigma from the fear of leaving your own country to start fresh, leaving your loved ones and changing your values should be forgotten. Adults always say that we will miss high school at some point and I believe it to be more true than ever, as transferring to the IFC has made me value my friends and family more back at home, with our usual lifestyles and our environment, things that make us, us. As with most of my international
classmates we all felt a form of homesickness from one way to another. But we undoubtedly will miss aspects of what made our stay at Germany special. The people you meet, the cultures you learn, the stories you hear and tell, the experiences you have, the differences you witness from everything you see and hear will hold on to you forever. But at the same time, you also realize how similar you are to everyone in the IFC. In particular, our goals for coming here. We all came here for the same reason, to see and experience each other. I have never been so glad to meet most of the people here. Not many can have this kind of experience at our age. As foreigners to each other we have the chance to express our own nationality, And that is the most enticing thing to me. In return you gain the knowledge and insight from other classmates that will do better than any book or teacher can explain. You will undoubtedly grow as a person like no other can outside the IFC. You come to understand why people can be so different, agree to opinions you thought you would never agree on, as you value yourself and your own country more. It truly feels like your own adventure, a story I will always tell to people I meet in the future. I’m sure that my class and the previous IFC classes before have and will continue to do the same. And the only reason I could give you for not joining the IFC is that you will definitely have memories you will always miss. I encourage both thrill seekers and introverts who want to change to attend the IFC.