To supplement my basic knowledge of German my exchange program began with a month-long language camp in Würzburg, Germany. By the end of the exchange year, I had learned thousands of words, read more than a dozen books in German, gave one speech to students and activists and another to my exchange organization, both in German. So I began to learn German, using methods I knew from my previous attempts to learn the language. Going to Germany and learning a foreign language was a dream come true for me, all made possible by a grant from the Bundestag Youth Exchange Program and a little support from my sister. With a few hundred words, I started communicating with native speakers through the italki website, which connects students with language teachers and learning communities around the world. Although I never reached the expected level in those languages, I discovered many of the techniques and language learning tools I used for German. At the age of 16, I moved to Germany on my own, attended a German high school and lived with a host family for 10 months. As the date of the event approached, I asked the organizer, who also attended my school, if I could give a speech in German, explaining the American perspective on the fight against climate change. The program funded Tim’s year in the U.S. and sends 250 American students to Germany and about 300 Germans to the U.S. each year. But despite the daily classes, the constant conversations in English with other exchange students slowed my progress and made me feel unprepared and nervous as I boarded the train to my host family in Aachen. The Friday for the Future program, founded by Swedish student activist Greta Thunberg, encourages young people to actively participate in environmental reform by leaving school every Friday to protest the lack of political efforts to reduce climate change. In a few months, “she” learned the 1,000 most common German words, which make up 70-80% of typical conversations.