What Julian Hoss understood about West Virginia ahead of coming listed here as an exchange scholar can be summed up in two words, “Country Streets.”
“That’s all I genuinely had at any time read about this condition,” Hoss stated. “I did know the governor’s title and the condition capitol. But I arrived here with no serious plan what to assume.”
Hoss, who life in western Germany, reported his father encouraged him to indicator up with the Global Cultural Trade Company (ICES) which matches pupils with families.
“I experienced under no circumstances definitely tried out something so diverse from my every day existence,” he said. “Others in the application stated I’d stop up creating new buddies and gain a second relatives.”
Tyler and Marie McCauley stuffed that position for the 15-calendar year-old exchange pupil who celebrated his 16th birthday in November.
“I experienced wanted to host an exchange scholar for a long time,” Marie McCauley mentioned. “Finding the ideal time and right person was tough. We have two sons, Ian and Mick, that we required to be portion of the method as perfectly.”
It hardly ever dawned on the McCauleys or their trade pupil that the appropriate time would be throughout a health and fitness pandemic.
Hoss signed up with the software in February 2020 before the health crisis experienced turn out to be common in the United States. Due to rising circumstances, there was a very long hold out interval.
“We experienced to have the settlement of our local school program,” McCauley explained. “Normally that would not be a large concern but with the COVID-19 circumstance, it was. Thankfully, Ripley Higher School agreed. There were only 5 substantial schools in the complete state who accepted exchange learners this calendar year.”
That deficiency of participation was what drew this host family to get associated.
“We observed a Facebook write-up that ICES was needing families and not lots of ended up willing,” McCauley recalled. “Our boys were being the right age we imagined. We also figured that considering that our household does almost everything exterior in any case, we’d all be pretty risk-free.”
When they saw that Hoss liked soccer, music and traveling, their curiosity was piqued. A single other element stood out as the household determined.
“He experienced a quirky character,” McCauley said with a chortle. “I have a quirky persona far too, so it sounded like a match. As we talked to him and got to know him a little better by movie chats, we also claimed he sounded a large amount like our son Ian. It was not a tricky selection in the end.”
Arriving in the United States, Hoss experienced to quarantine for two weeks. The most difficult aspect of that was having to hold out to enjoy large university soccer, a sport in which he excels.
“Soccer is my only activity,” Hoss claimed. “I had to skip 14 procedures which manufactured me have to hold out longer to play.”
Enjoying a sport aided the young trade university student adapt a tiny less complicated, but there were still some important distinctions in superior college lifetime in West Virginia vs. Germany.
“In Germany, we are pretty targeted, and university is just for education and learning,” he said. “There is no true socialization, no outside the house actions. Managing from course to class below is a minimal annoying, but all in all the courses are much a lot easier listed here. In the starting, I did have some trouble with English.”
1 improve that was a more substantial adjustment for Hoss was transportation. In Germany, he rode his bicycle just about everywhere.
“I by no means had to rely on my mothers and fathers to get me spots,” he said. “Now I’m usually needing a journey.”
While soccer is his primary passion, the student athlete did consider his hand at other sports as very well. He identified that wrestling was not his favourite, but he did enjoy keep track of. Getting with an active loved ones has led him to a lot of adventures as very well.
“The 1st area we took him was the New River Gorge,” stated McCauley. “Of class, we had to go to North Myrtle Beach front. That is a West Virginia thing.”
A single of the highlights of his stay, and a place he and the McCauley spouse and children felt was crucial to go to, was Washington, D.C.
“I received to see so a lot, which include the White House,” Hoss said. “That meant a ton to go there.”
His initial-time skiing was with the McCauleys at Winterplace. They also launched him to kayaking, snowboarding, snowtubing and a monster truck function. The loved ones has expanded his food items ordeals as perfectly.
“He loves pepperoni rolls, macaroni and cheese and Taco Bell,” McCauley said with a smile. “But he’s shared German meals with us as nicely and we enjoy it.”
Bonding with his new loved ones has been an essential section of the exchange student’s existence. Getting ‘two brothers’ has been distinctive, said Hoss.
“It’s been truly good while,” he explained. “They treat me like one of the relatives. I acquired to kick an American soccer with Tyler and their pet dog, Darla, retains feeding on all my food stuff. It is just relatives.”
Hoss will miss out on his new loved ones as he travels back to Germany in mid-June. He will also miss out on much about the school he is leaving.
“I’ve designed very good pals,” he mentioned. “There is these a college spirit here that we don’t have in Germany. I have long gone to my very first university dance and prom. Again house, we have 1,000 little ones at school, but anyone stays totally with their course. In this article, most people is familiar with me.”
Hoss reported that although there are limits in this place with COVID-19, it is a
lot more so in Germany. Students get examined each working day. Obtaining gained the vaccination, he is hoping that he will not have to quarantine at the time arriving in his home country.
At the time home, Hoss said the first issue he’ll do, following reuniting with loved ones and good friends, is go to a German bakery and get some bread rolls. McCauley explained she tried out to make him some but ‘failed miserably.’
As for his family, he’s positive they skipped him, but mentioned “My small sister previously moved into my area.”
To explain his encounters in West Virginia and with the McCauley family members, Hoss place factors very simply.
“It was the most effective final decision I’ve at any time manufactured in my life,” he reported. “I’m just sorry I’m going to miss out on the 4th of July in Ripley, but I hope I can speak my mom and dad into letting me occur back again for a go to in the foreseeable future. No issue what, I will maintain a connection to my West Virginia family.”