Exchange student friends from Germany tour NYC during PAX arrival orientation
Judy Singer and Fabi were already on the way to becoming great friends when they hit the big city during PAX orientation.

Finding a Friend

New York is the most popular city in the United States and famous for being a melting pot for many different people. Being part of the PAX exchange program, I was able to experience the Big Apple and so much more…

August 6, 2013 was the day I finally left for my exchange year. I was counting down the days ever since day 100, and I can remember how excited I was! I flew from Frankfurt with a bunch of other exchange students to New York. I was friends with one of the girls, Judy, already. A few month before, I had been to an orientation in Germany, where I got to know her.

New York has always been a dream of mine, and I have to say, it has not disappointed! I remember arriving at Adelphi University where we stayed and thinking that I will live my American dream. The campus we stayed at was just beautiful, and we all felt like we were college students already.

The orientation was fun and serious at the same time. The fun part was that we were able to go to New York City and were able to do some sightseeing and therefore got to know the city a little bit better. I remember how we went to see the Statue of Liberty—a highlight for sure. The really good food we had in Chinatown and seeing all the lights at night in Times Square were just as impressive and more than I could have ever imagined.  

The New York orientation not only prepared me for my exchange year, it strengthened my relationships with other exchange students. Even until today, I can call Judy a very close friend of mine. Despite living in different parts of Germany and only being able to see each other once a year, New York and our exchange experience has always given us a special connection. Without New York, I would have never been able to find such a great friend. Despite our differences, this experience we share will always keep us together, and I am very grateful for that.

—Fabienne Mertens (2013/14, Germany), hosted by the Cain family (UT)