Auszüge und Bilder aus Berichten des Schüleraustausches nach Coon Rapids, Minnesota (2016)
“On Tuesday all the German Students (including Mrs. Zander) were picked up at the airport by their host families. The welcoming was very affectionate. We drove home, ate something and most of us went directly to bed. The next day was Wednesday so we had to get up early to be at school on time. So school normally starts at 07:45 am and ends at 02:20 pm. Every student went with their host student to class. So my host student, who is named Samara has classes like English, Biomed (which is a mixture of Biology and Medicine), Chemistry, Maths and Choir.
English was very nice because I could collaborate. We analysed the poem “I felt a funeral in my brain” from Emily Dickinson. The class was divided in groups and every group had to paint a picture to the poem. Biomed was also quite cool but the most time I just sat there while Samara made some tables on her laptop. But not every Biomed lesson was like that. We also did an interesting experiment. After Biomed my school day continued with Chemistry. There we also did some interesting experiments. The students had to write a “Balancing test” and I also wrote down something. But it was just hard because there were some unknown “chemistry words” for me.
The following lesson was Math. The students had a collection of worksheets so I didn’t have these. I just could watch what they calculated. The most time the Math lessons were just quite boring. In the middle of the lesson we went to take lunch at the cafeteria. The most time the food from the canteen was good. After we had taken lunch we went back to the Math classroom and continued with the tasks. When the lesson was over the bell rang and my host student and me went to the choir class. This class was my absolute favourite one! I really enjoyed listening to their songs. The most time they improved their singing skills and sang the songs which they were planning to perform on concerts. The students in choir were very kind and friendly. Also the teacher was quite nice. The people in choir are just like a family and I really enjoyed the atmosphere in there. So school was over at 02:20 pm for every High School student, so the corridors were just full of teenagers who wanted to go home. Samara and I took the bus after school with her sister.
At home we relaxed or watched some TV series like “Gossip Girl”. At around 05:00pm her mum got home and at 06:00 pm we mostly went out for dinner what was always very nice because in Germany it isn’t normal to go out that often. Sometimes we went eating Burgers, Sandwiches (at Subway) or Tacos. It wasn’t very often but some days my host mother cooked something for the whole family. All in all, I can say that I really like the school days in America. But the school days were very different to those in Germany.
In the USA each day the students took the same classes like the day before. In my opinion this could get boring. But it’s only for three months. Also the length of the lessons was differently to the German ones. Lessons in the High School where I was, took more than 60 minutes. There is one thing I really really like at this school. It doesn’t really have something to do with the school but the school buses at “Coon Rapids High School” were quite nice. I couldn’t believe that they are really yellow, like in the movies! Although the USA is a bit different to Germany I enjoyed the way of living there.
The time in the US and especially in Coon Rapids and Minnesota was very good. I have met a lot of nice people and I gained a lot of good experiences.”
“I was so excited when I heard that I will go to the Minnesota exchange. Of course there were some questions that ran through my mind, for example: What if my host-family is not nice? What if I spend too much money? What if I get homesick when I am there? What if we won’t get the flight?
Everyone knows those ‘what if …’ questions, but I figured out that they weren’t necessary. Well, the first two where the worst, even if I got there without trouble and even if the family was perfect. I just couldn’t sleep and I missed my family, those were the only days when I did miss them. It was hard, because I knew I was in a new house with people I have never seen before, while my family was so far away. But after those two hard days everything was more than fine. I was so glad that my host-family was so nice and openhearted. They have a daughter, she is three years old and her name is Chloe, a son, he is fifteen years old and his name is Xavian and a little dog, Coco. The first thing they told me about their family is that they love to eat. Yes, everybody loves to eat, but not everybody tells that.
We ate a lot; I tried so many new things I never had before like Tacos, Sushi, beef jerky, I didn’t like it, and many other things. There were many things that I liked in Minnesota, besides eating. My highlight was probably the basketball game, Timberwolves vs. Rockets, even if the wolves weren’t good though. I always wanted to see a game and it was so exiting! Another thing that I loved about the exchange was one of the school subjects, acting. It was so much fun and I loved to do crazy things without feeling bad about it, to think about new scenes and characters. And of course my host-family, it didn’t felt like my HOST-family, was something that was more than good. I was so lucky that I could live with them for those three weeks, not even, and I thought that would be too long, but they were too short, really short.
One of the worst things was the baseball game, yes sports again, it was so boring, especially when you don’t understand what they are doing, the best thing of that game was the food and it wasn’t even good. The other thing that wasn’t good or maybe it sad is a better expression than not good, was that I had to say goodbye. During that short time I felt like I was a part of this family and I couldn’t think about what happens if it’s over. When that day came I was crying so bad, I just didn’t wanted to tell them goodbye. It was like losing something that was a part of me. I hope someday I’ll see them again. Maybe they’ll visit me in Germany or I’ll come over again. It was one of the best experiences of my live, I won’t ever regret it! Something that I want to tell every student: If you have the opportunity to do an exchange, take it and don’t wait for a better chance to come, it could be your last. “
“In the three weeks I was in the USA with the other students from my school and Mrs. Zander I gained a lot of experience. The first one was the long flight of about 13 hours. When we landed on Thursday in Minneapolis our host families greeted us very nicely. I liked my host family really. They all were so lovely. On the way home we stopped to have dinner in a burger restaurant. From Wednesday on we went to school with our host brothers or sisters every day. With my host family I went to two NBA games from the Timberwolves. That was very exciting.
Not only to see a team from the NBA how they play but also to see how all the people react in the game and the atmosphere at the game. That was very nice. The games were in my first week. With the whole group we went to a baseball game in Minneapolis. It was very nice to see how a baseball game is played, but it is not my favorite sport.
On the first Saturday we drove to Minneapolis by train and we visited important sights there. On this day the weather was very cold, so it wasn´t fun to go around the city. On Sunday after the prom I drove to the Mall of America with my host mother and my German friend Claudia. Oh my gosh, the MOA is big. There are so many stores and there is so much food, too, and it was so nice.”
“The first week is nearly over and I had so many new experiences during the stay.
One point was the long flight. When we arrived I was really tired but also excited to meet my
host family. Our families picked us up at the airport in Minneapolis and we drove home to Coon Rapids. It became dark so Minneapolis looked very pretty because of the lights of the skyscrapers. The cars and the roads are so different from ours in Germany. I was surprised that I understood almost everything they said. I was a little bit afraid of that before our trip started. Now I can say that all guys are very kind and helpful. I had lots of fun every day and I met so many different people.”