I just wanted to update you on how my exchange is going so far and give my thanks to Mesa West Rotary for making this possible. 
I have now been in Austria for two months and everything has been absolutely amazing! I get along great with my host family and have made many friends since starting school in September. I have had many opportunities to meet other exchange students and to travel, both through Rotary and with my family. So far, I have gone to Salzburg, Vienna, Villach, and many other smaller towns across the country. Beyond the border, my host family included me in their vacation to Croatia for one week. In the future, I will be going to Vienna again with Rotary and we will meet up with inbounds from Hungary. There is also a planned trip to Prague, Dresden, and Berlin at the end of the month! With my class at school, I am going to the capital of Slovenia for a day. I am so excited to explore these cities and see more of what Europe has to offer. 
In school, I take fourteen different classes. Although I do not understand very much of what the teachers are saying, everything has gone better than I could have ever imagined. As soon as I walked through the door on the first day, my classmates were so welcoming and wanted to know all about me and the US. They are still so great and friendly and now that a few weeks have gone by, I have made some really great friends. I have definitely had to adjust a lot, as school is very different here, but I am getting used to it very quickly. I can't wait to learn more of the language so I can participate more in class!
To help with this, I am taking additional language lessons outside of school. This  is extremely helpful, and I've learned so much in such a short amount of time! Now, I understand quite a lot when people speak to me, but I am not as good at speaking. My host parents talk to me completely in German and when I first arrived, I had no clue what they were saying to me. Now, I know based on picking out words that I have learned and putting the pieces together. 
Even after just two months, this experience has changed my life so much and I wanted to tell you this personally. I can't wait to share my experiences with the club after the rest of what is going to be the most amazing year ever.
Thank you again for your support,
Paige Goetzenberger