Vail Valley student follows dreams overseas |

Vail Valley student follows dreams overseas

Nicole Aguilar Slechter
Special to the Vail Daily
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado –Since I was a child, I have always had a dream to be a foreign exchange student in another country – the idea of getting to learn and experience other cultures has always fascinated me.

Now that I am of age to travel abroad, I am trying in all ways possible to make being an exchange student more than just a dream. I applied for a scholarship to Germany through Youth for Understanding, an organization that works in partnership with governments, corporations, foundations, schools and educators worldwide to create global learning opportunities.

Germany has always appealed to me because I would like to learn more languages, and I have always wanted to know more about the Holocaust. Also, Germany is the 13th most environmentally conscious country, according to Yale’s 2008 performance index – I thought it would be great to live there and bring back environmental ideas to make the Vail Valley a greener place.

I have recently been selected as a recipient of the Stipendium Scholarship, which is awarded to students going to Germany who have the best grades, are independent, the best written essays and can easily adapt to another country.

More than 400 people applied, but only five people in the United States received the honor. I feel very fortunate to be the youngest recipient and the only person in Colorado to receive this scholarship.

I will enter a full immersion language program and will be staying with a temporary host family when I arrive in Germany. After the language program, I will travel by trail to meet my permanent host family. I recently found out that I will be going to Cuxhaven, Germany, for the first month – I leave July 24 and I can’t wait for this awesome and life-changing experience to begin!

Because of the economy, the Stipendium scholarship started out as a full, paid scholarship, but it has now been lowered to cover a quarter of the trip’s cost. To help raise money for the rest of the trip, I am hosting a silent auction at the Cotton Ranch Club, on June 19, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Some items being auctioned include dinner for four at Rocks Modern Grill in Beaver Creek, gear from CJ’S Skate shop, stays at Silverleaf Suites and the American Inn, a three-month athletic membership at the Best Western in Eagle and many more prizes.

For more information, contact me at

Nicole Aguilar Slechter is entering her sophomore year at Eagle Valley High School.

Nicole Aguilar Slechter is raising money for her foreign exchange trip to Germany at the Cotton Ranch Club, June 19, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. There will be a silent auction, raffle and food. For more information, send an e-mail to

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