Cali Grant smiles as she sits on top of a a wood sculpture of a kids’ German cartoon character called “Tiger Duck” in Erfurt, Germany.
Cali Grant smiles as she sits on top of a a wood sculpture of a kids’ German cartoon character called “Tiger Duck” in Erfurt, Germany.

   When Cali Grant went abroad to study, the foreign language she encountered wasn’t all Greek to her.

   It was German, a language she spent years learning.

   However, she wouldn’t have had the chance to study in Gera, Germany if she hadn’t aced a test that examined her German language comprehension.

   The exam ranks everyone in the nation who takes the exam, and since Grant earned a spot in the top 10 percentile, she qualified for the application process for the trip scholarship.

   After applying and interviewing for the trip, the incoming Ripon High School junior was chosen as a representative of Wisconsin and ultimately won the full scholarship for the study trip.

   However, she wasn’t expecting the opportunity.

   “I was kind of shocked [when I won it] because once I found out all the other candidates from Wisconsin all went to Milwaukee language schools for the most part I was like, ‘Oh, they’ve been taking German since ... second grade, I really don’t have that big of a chance to go,’” Grant said, noting she only has been studying German for a few years. “But then once I found out I had won it, I was just dumbfounded at first. And then it didn’t sink in really until a month before I left.”

   Grant traveled to Germany along with 14 other students from across the country on June 13 and returned July 5.

Read the full story in the Aug. 29, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.