By Freddy Wilhelm, CCI Greenheart high school exchange student & Greenheart Club member

Below Freddy recounts his experience on Greenheart’s first ever Service Learning Preparatory Program and orientation.

After waiting for what felt like forever, we (9 exchange students from Germany and 2 from China) finally arrived in Chicago. It was awesome seeing the big city with all the skyscrapers right by the lake for the first time, everyone was already taking pictures on the car ride downtown. Luckily, everybody was very nice and we became friends quite soon.

We had a lot of things planned and we were already really looking forward to it. In the next few days we learned a lot about the different kinds of volunteering (usually in the mornings). After that we would go to the city, visit famous sights like the John Hancock Center and the Bean and also go shopping or volunteer in parts of Chicago that are a little further away from downtown. It was quite interesting to see the disparities of Chicago that normal tourists usually do not get to see. We were quite exhausted in the evenings from all the fun we had during the day, which is why we all went to bed quite fast after coming home to the college we stayed in.

To conclude, the preparation program really did prepare us for the next 10 months we would spend in the US and I can just recommend it to everybody. Also, I would like to thank everybody at this point: Martha and Jillian who were our supervisors and really nice and helpful; also thanks to Molly, Andrea, Stephanie, Ellie and Erin for the awesome week we had!