Taking Advantage of Every Opportunity!
Submitted by Cesar Gamboa ASSE CBYX Exchange Student

My name is Cesar Gamboa and I'm from Morgan Hill California. Currently I'm living in Southern Germany and my experience here is going great. I started learning my first words in German only about a week before leaving the U.S and in the short time that has flown by; I'm already thinking in German. The weather isn't the same as back home in California but the snow is pretty.

I am attending the Gymnasium in Überlingen and although school can be challenging because of the language that doesn't give me an excuse for putting in less energy than what I'm capable of. So far I've met people from various backgrounds and histories that show me how diverse and multi minded the German people are. Being from an immigrant family I can share my dual culture with those who I now share my life with here in Germany.

My mother came to the United States from Columbia. She later met my father who was born in Mexico and raised in California. I'm the first born American citizen in my family and have the great privilege being raised with a blend of the cultures. I'm intact with my roots and also am proud to be an American.

Because of this great CBYX program, I'm able to contribute to the breaking down of stereotypes and pre conceived ideas. The more I integrate myself into the German culture, the more I learn firsthand how the citizens of Germany feel about certain topics. From Breakdancing to studying for a 'Klausur', I'm taking advantage of every opportunity that comes my way because this is completely unique experience and I know that I will get out of it as much as I put into it.

I am determined to become a linguist. I was raised with mostly Spanish and then later learned English. Because my mother taught me how to read and write in Spanish at home before I began school, I began categorizing words based on their meanings, spelling and pronunciation. Later this helped out a lot in French class when learning French just seemed to come naturally to me. I can understand the majority of whatever someone says in French, Italian, and Portuguese. I was learning Japanese but then decided to focus on German and now I'm dreaming in a strange mix where they are sometimes together! I plan on continuing my education and working with languages. It would be nice to work in a government job because I would like to give back to my country without necessarily entering the military."

The photo of Cesar and his host family was taken on New Years Eve or as they call it in Germany ''Silvester''. Cesar describes the photo: "I'm the dark one by the way. The lady with the smile is my host Mom. She's great just like my mom back home, only speaking German instead. To the right is the man with the mustache and he is my host dad. He's the most talented mechanic I know and can repair anything. The tall and thin boy in the blue is my brother Simon. When he isn't on a snowboard, he is on the computer and to the far right is my brother Dennis, who is soon to complete his apprenticeship in construction."

Cesar Gamboa, an ASSE Exchange student with the CBYX (Congress Bundestag Youth Exchange program) is living in Sipplingen, Germany with the Stengele Family.
ASSE News is published three times a year. It is provided free of charge to ASSE participants, host families, representatives and other friends of ASSE. Any copyright material is published with the written permission of the publisher and is so indicated. Any other material may be used for publication without permission of ASSE.


Editor’s Box

For the majority of ASSE students, the New Year represents a time to reflect on the many opportunities already experienced as an exchange student and to look forward to even more exciting opportunities yet to come.

If you are a student, as you read this winter newsletter, I hope you recognize the fast moving time, take advantage of as many opportunities as possible & express your appreciation for your those opportunities as often as you can!

If you are a host family – the experience that you are giving your student is amazing and will have influence for years to come! You are part of a rare group of people that recognize the importance of sharing your culture in a very practical way! Thank you!

If you are involved some way in making the exchange experience possible - thank you! Thank you also to each of you that have contributed your wonderful articles and photographs. I encourage everyone to let me know of your fun moments. Maybe next edition your will find your name in print!

Please send your best original photographs and articles to: ASSE News,
10725 Boston Street,
Henderson, CO 80640, USA
Tel: 303-227-7634
Fax: 303-252-0629
E-mail: mloving@asse.com
Until next edition,
Mary Loving
ASSE News Editor