Senior Claire Christensen says “auf wiedersehen” to life in the US

Getting ready for takeoff, senior Claire Christensen waits to board her plane and travel to Frankfurt, Germany. Christensen completed classes at semester and is planning to use her free time in Germany to learn German and explore the country and culture. “[I’ll face] all the new challenges of moving somewhere new, plus the struggles of being in an unfamiliar country with a new house, new neighborhood, making new friends, a language barrier and the cultural differences,” Christensen said.

Courtesy of Claire Christensen

Getting ready for takeoff, senior Claire Christensen waits to board her plane and travel to Frankfurt, Germany. Christensen completed classes at semester and is planning to use her free time in Germany to learn German and explore the country and culture. “[I’ll face] all the new challenges of moving somewhere new, plus the struggles of being in an unfamiliar country with a new house, new neighborhood, making new friends, a language barrier and the cultural differences,” Christensen said.

Suitcase in hand, passport ready, senior Claire Christensen is leaving everything and moving her life to Frankfurt, Germany with her family. However, moving across the world takes more than just packing up and leaving as Christensen quickly realized. 

“We’ve had to sell our house and completely go through the process of cleaning and marketing [the house to sell], along with even selling our car. I’ve had to get rid of most of my clothes because we can’t take a lot to Germany. I’ve even had to travel to Chicago and get my visa from the German consulate,” Christensen said. 

Along with having to pack up her belongings, Christensen has had to contend with worries over college.

“I have applied to many American colleges,” Christensen said. ”There is still a chance I could attend one in Germany. It’s all pretty complicated while I’m still figuring out residency and citizenship.” 

One of Christensen’s main concerns is learning to speak German.

“My family still plans on staying on track with religion. Being Mormon, we found an English speaking ward which will benefit us. I’m also taking lessons to hopefully become fluent in German and improve,” Christensen said. 

Leaving memories and the places she knows behind, Christensen says that there is a lot to remember about St. Louis. 

“I’m going to miss all the places that I’m familiar with, like going to the art museum and the arch and driving by all of the streets that I’ve come to memorize over these years. All of the memories I’ve made here are definitely going to be hard to leave,” Christensen said.

Moving has made Christensen realize which relationships she has were most impactful.

“I’m a student aid for [history teacher Jim] Hermann right now. I’ve had him for AP World and AP Euro. He’s always been someone I can talk to about everything, and I have kept taking his classes. He’s a really good person,” Christensen said.

Christensen also appreciates how her best friend, senior Casey Paul, has stuck by her side. 

“My best friend Casey has helped me through a lot of high school. She has really helped me progress through high school and has helped shape me into the person I am. It’s going to be really hard to leave her,” Christensen said.

Christensen urges her peers to appreciate where you are in life.

“High school may seem like it’s taking forever to get through,” Christensen said. “You might be tired or a bit overwhelmed, but you’ll get through it. Enjoy your high school experience and make the most out of it.”