Exchange student grateful for support

My name is Lena Strothmann, and I am a high school AFS Exchange Student from Germany.

The second half of my exchange year, I was hosted by the Ames family. It’s getting close to the end of my exchange year and I want to say thank you to my entire host family! Thank you so much Brooke, Gable, Hailey, Trinity and Gaeden for everything they’ve done for me over the last half year.

At the end of January I decided to switch my family. And after only one week the Ames family said that they want, that I live with them for the last five month of my exchange year. They were so excited to have me there and they did everything that I have a nice second half year at their house!

I wanted to come to the United States because I thought it is cool to live one year in a country that speaks only English the whole time! And I thought that I will see stars from the TV everywhere. And I wanted to go to a real high school. I thought that high school here is way more fun, that it is how they show it in American movies but it wasn’t that much fun … it was kind of boring. I learned a lot from being an exchange student! My English got way better and I met a lot of new people that I will miss so bad when I go back to Germany. I also learned to live in different families and that every family has different rules. And I also had my ups and downs during this year but I never gave up. My host family helped me a lot with my English and they explained me different things about Alaska and the United States. I’m so glad that I got to stay with the Ames family and I will miss them so much!

Thank you so much for being my host family! You were the best host family that I could have! I love you guys!

If you are interested in learning more about hosting AFS Exchange student like me this fall, visit or see our AFS Alaska webpage at