Atlanta Blog 2016
Liebe Leserinnen und Leser,
auch in diesem Jahr sendet die Gruppe der Atlanta-Austauschschüler viele Grüße aus dem Staate Georgia. Wir feiern eine Premiere, denn erstmals haben unsere Schüler die Möglichkeit eine weitere Partnerschule, die Chamblee Charter High School, zu besuchen. Daher wurde die Gruppe der insgesamt 18 Schülerinnen und Schüler aufgeteilt, 8 von ihnen besuchen unsere bereits bekannte und geschätzte Partnerschule Brandon Hall School und die restlichen 10 sind Gast an der CCHS.
Unsere Schüler werden sehr unterschiedliche Erfahrungen machen, da die BHS eine Privatschule mit gewohnt kleiner Schülerzahl und sehr kleinen Lerngruppen ist und die CCHS eine öffentliche Schule, mit Lerngruppen, deren Größen vergleichbar zum THG sind. Die Chamblee Schule hat einen ausgezeichneten Deutschzweig, sodass hier der kulturelle Austausch auch in deutscher Sprache angestrebt wird, zumindest während der Deutschkurse. In allen weiteren Kursen und im Privaten freuen sich unsere Schülerinnen und Schüler natürlich darauf, ihr Englisch auf die Probe zu stellen und zu bereichern.
An dieser Stelle werden wir versuchen, regelmäßig unseren Blog zu posten und über unsere Erfahrungen und Eindrücke zu berichten. Alle 18 Schülerinnen und Schüler werden jeweils über einen Tag ihres Aufenthalts bloggen. Die Natur des diesjährigen Austauschs wird also sicherlich zwei sehr verschiedene und interessante Perspektiven auf das Schulleben und Leben in den Gastfamilien hervorbringen.
Warm regards from Atlanta
Steffen Teigelack und Erik Riemer
Mr Teigelack, Mr Riemer and Dr. Sauce, principal of Chamblee Charter High School
Mr Riemer being interviewed for a school project at CCHS
Brandon Hall students enjoying a healthy lunch in the dining hall
From left to right: Mr. Riemer, Mr. Kümpers, Mr. Neuhaus, Mr. Teigelack
Today we would like to introduce you to two important people in our transatlantic program: Mr. Kümpers, the godfather of our internship branch, who initiated the first contacts with Atlantan companies for Mr. Riemer back in 2010/11, and Mr. Neuhaus, who teaches German at CCHS and is coordinator of the exchange program on the western side of the Atlantic. Without those two, THG’s program wouldn’t be where it is today.
Before I came to Atlanta for the exchange, I wrote with my exchange student Camille and I really liked her. So when we met yesterday I already knew something about her family, her pets and so on. I really like Camille and we always have something to talk about. Mostly we talk English, so that we can communicate, because her German is not so good. For me it is easy to speak English with her, but sometimes I do not know how to say something or I do not know how to describe certain words, but that is no problem.
Her family members are her father, her mother and her dog. Her parents are very nice, too, and it is also easy to communicate with them. Just sometimes it is a little difficult to understand her father. Her dog is very cute but she does not like visitors.
Today was our first school day, so we got up at 6:15 am. We had breakfast, took our lunch and went to school to meet the other exchangers at 7:30 am. The teacher Mr. Neuhaus showed us the school and it is so big. The school has two buildings. One for the normal lessons and the other one is more for art and sports. The school has four floors, a swimming pool, a field for baseball, a field for football and a stadium. The school has its own police officer and more than 1700 students.
After Mr. Neuhaus showed us Chamblee High School, the first period started at 8:15 am. My first lesson was physics. In this lesson I was without Camille and it was not so easy to understand English physics. The class was very loud, everyone talks, many students were on their phones and I wondered why the teacher did not say something against it. After this lesson I had art, again without Camille. This lesson was very nice and I started my own art project. After art I had my first period with Camille. It was human geography, which is a subject about different cultures in the world. The lesson after that was chemistry and it was interesting, because the head teacher could not see anything. So there was a second teacher and they taught together. In the middle of the lesson Camille felt sick and she left class without me. At the very end of the lesson she came back and we went to lunch together. After lunch we had band. It was great to listen to the music, but I could not join the band, because I do not play an instrument. After this we had world lit, where they talk about different authors of books, poems and so on. Normally I would have had British literature after this, but they took a class test, so I went to the library.
At 3:20 pm school was over for everyone, and after school Camille had marching band, so I sat there, watched them, and talked to other people. After this Camille’s father picked us up from school at 6:15 pm, and at 7:00 pm we had dinner.
It was a day full of new impressions in a country I have never been to before. The students at school came to me and talked to me, but I think the biggest difference I have seen today is that the Americans do their hobbies at school and the Germans in their free time. The classes I had were louder than the German ones and I wondered why the teachers do not care about this talking and sleeping during lessons.
Hi to everyone who is reading this blog 🙂
Greetings from Atlanta!
This is the Brandon Hall School.
I’m one of the eight students who go to school at the Brandon Hall School.
Like yesterday, my alarm clock rang at 6.00 a.m. I prepared my things to leave at 7.00 a.m. Although we leave early, the school doesn’t start early, it starts at 7.45 a.m. We leave so early, because every student at Brandon Hall has the chance to get breakfast in the dining hall.
Like every day we had four school periods. My school day starts with modern world history every morning, where we talk about the industrial revolution at the moment and why this could happen and because of who. There I am together with three other exchange students from Germany and two other students from Brandon Hall School. After this very interesting period, I had to go to literary genres, where we did a vocabulary test like yesterday, but not a written one. We had to go to a website in the internet where the students had made their own tests and the class had to do them. In those tests I didn’t know which answer was correct most of the time, because there were some words I hadn’t seen before, but sometimes it was obvious and I got some right. In the next period I had drawing. There we worked on a painting which will be like “POP ART”, with a picture of yourself, like the pictures from Marilyn Monroe. We had to choose one color out of blue, yellow and red. The other student from Germany, who is with me in this class and me, chose blue. The last period before the lunch break was United States history where the students learned more about the “Boston tea party” and some other events.
As the bell rang after the fourth period it was time to have lunch in the dining hall. There we could eat something, together with the other German students and the American students, who are all very friendly to us. After we ate our meals, we had ca. 20 minutes to sit in the sun and relax. I met a very nice person, who is a friend of my exchange student and I talked about everything we can talk about with him 🙂 .
As the bell rang another time we had to go to our next period. In my case it is Geometry, with a very nice teacher. The students in this class are also very friendly and helped me if I didn’t understand a question or an assignment. After this period, I had dance in the gym, together with a girl from my geometry class, so I can follow her to the gym every day. There the teacher asked me if I could teach them disco fox in one period, because they didn’t know it. In the class they prepared a dance for the spring event at Brandon Hall, but they didn’t prepare it as seriously as we’d do it in Germany, they had much fun at the dance and laughed very much in their period. In their dance class they could decide if they wanted to wear sport shoes, their socks or nothing of the two, because they do a leap in their choreography. Today I could join the choreography, like another person in the back of the group. It was really funny but also very tiring. For a good ending of school, I had geology, with a teacher who is very young and does a very interesting class. She has a snake in her classroom, seriously in a terrarium. When the bell rang at 3.00p.m I went to the office of my host mom in school, because she works here. Then my exchange student, by the way she’s a girl, went to the gym to play volleyball. I went with her because it is interesting to see how they spend their free time after school. A girl from my dance class asked me if I wanted to play volleyball too, but tomorrow they will have a match, so I thought it would be better if I joined the team in the next lesson if I could. After the volleyball training we left the school and drove home. There I relaxed in bed because you can think about what happened in school and hope the next days will be as great as today. And the school is tiring. At I think it was 6 p.m. when we had dinner. After dinner, I went to bed and fell asleep immediately.
After already two days at school I have realized some differences between the school here and in Germany. In this school here they have smaller classrooms and they aren’t like 25 people in class. Also they have a lunch break after four periods. After each lesson they have only four minutes to change the rooms. In every class the students are very quiet, not like the students in Germany, who talk much. If the students talk in class, the teacher will say “be quiet now” and every student is quiet. But every American person who I met was very friendly and helpful. Sometimes we had a little communication problem, because they speak too fast and I don’t understand some words, but then you can ask them what it means and they explain it to you. Living in my host family is very interesting because they have three dogs and a bird. The communication with them is very easy and I don’t have a problem to speak with them.
In the two days I’ve been here I learned many new things. One is that you don’t have to be shy when speaking to an American person. They are all very friendly and helpful. Another thing is that the dining hall at the Brandon hall school can prepare very different meals for each day.
This is in front of the school. There you can sit and relax or wait for the parents to take you home.
I hope the next days here in Atlanta will be as amazing like the last two days here.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog about our exchange! 🙂
Today I woke up at 6:15 o’clock. I am staying with my exchange student Isabel Bradford. At the moment we are staying at the house of Isabel’s father Blake. My exchange family is very polite and they take care of me very well!
America is really impressive! It is a different way of living than in Germany. For example, most of the students, who are in the 10th grade are allowed to drive a car! Furthermore, most of the Americans have really big cars, so it isn’t just a stereotype.
However, Chamblee Charter High School is very big too. I think our school would fit four times into their school. On my first days it was a little bit confusing, but we always have somebody we can ask if we have questions. Moreover, the American students have just one break (for twenty minutes) in which they eat their meals. They have a big lunch box with many different foods like bread, strawberries, pieces of watermelons, nuts and biscuits.
In my first period I had world lit with Mr. Wallace. It was very interesting, although I didn’t understand every word it was easy to understand the content of what they were talking about. In the end of the lesson we watched a movie called Troy.
The second period was about AP environmental science with Mrs. Peterson. By the way, AP stands for advanced placement, in German it means „Leistungskurs“. We talked about sulfur cycles and bio-chemical cycles. At the end of the lesson we wrote a test about these themes. I didn’t know every answer but hopefully the test will be okay.
In the third period I had the chance to listen to the orchestra. In the orchestra there only were violins, double bass and cellos. It was really nice to hear some of their songs. My favorite song was „counting stars“!
After the orchestra I had German. I think you can imagine how German looks like. They were talking about what Germans and Americans are allowed to do at which age. Did you know that the driver’s license only costs about 20$ in America? That’s so unfair! In between the German period we had our break. The Americans have an extra room in which they take their break and eat something. Furthermore they have a library with Apple computers! This is very cool, isn’t it? Most if the students see the library as a place to hang out with their friends. After the break the students had to play a role play. It was very nice and sometimes really funny!
In my fifth period I had the subject chemistry. I am sorry, I really don’t know what the teacher talked about. All the technical terms are very hard to understand in English. „Be patient, do your job and get up“. Today our teacher gave a very nice speech in front of us. He said that chemistry is very important in our lives. He also said that we have to think positive. If we don’t think positive there will be depression.
In the sixth period I had AP world history. This teacher is the person, who spoke faster than everybody else, but it wasn’t difficult to know what she was talking about. I really liked that subject!
In my last period I had Writers Workshop with Mr Avett. In this class the students have to write texts or stories on the computer. At this time I read some of their stories. Today some students read their stories to the class and the other students had to find a headline for them.
After school we drove home with the school bus. In front of the school were so many school buses, that was unbelievable! I think there were around 20 buses! The Chamblee School has around 1700 students.
At home Isabel did some homework and I just read my book outside in their garden. By the way, they have a wonderful garden!
Later we went to a Waffle House to have our lunch. At this moment I thought that I would never be hungry anymore! This lunch was so yummy!! At 7 o’clock we went to Sarah’s house to have a movie night. We watched the film Mad Girls and after the movie Sarah’s older brother’s band gave us a private concert. That was really nice, one of the best moments since I’ve been in Atlanta!
All in all the exchange with the Atlanta students is really impressive and I would do it again! By the way, my English knowledge is getting better every day! When I talk to other German exchange students I just start to talk in English, that’s so weird!
I started the day at 6 in the morning because I had to eat breakfast at 6:30 am. I love the breakfast in the US because it’s so different. I ate cheese with beef, eggs and bread. Very delicious. I’ve never eaten something like this in Germany.
At 7 am, my host mother drove me to school, like she does every day. In America they don’t have a good public transport. You can take the school bus when you visit a public school but the Brandon Hall is a private school. What I didn’t know at that time, was that the school began at 8:45 am, because of a meeting for all the students. Every Wednesday is like that because we only have one schedule for the whole time. That’s really weird and I don’t like it. So, after the meeting the periods were only 40 minutes long, although they usually last 50 minutes. That was very confusing. So my first class this day was modern history. The students in my class wrote a test, so I had nothing to do, which was a little bit boring. It’s quite hard for the students because the class and the classroom is so small that the teacher can see everything.
After modern history, I had an algebra lesson. Our teacher gave us some work which we had to complete. We had already done these topics in Germany, so it was really easy to finish. In acting, the classroom was much bigger than the normal ones. It was the auditorium, a big room with many seats and a stage in front. We built a stage for a play that they have to perform in one month. I love acting class because the teacher is really nice and there are only two American students. My 4th class was United States history. The other students were preparing for an upcoming test. Therefore, the other exchange students and I were given free time. In Brandon Hall you can use your phone or your computer the whole time because they work with it.
After United States history lunch was the next period and the food is very delicious which is very unusual for a school. On this day, they served chicken and mashed potatoes. Today the lunch break was longer than normal, due to the morning meeting. The first class after lunch was engineering, in which we talked about water problems in Germany. 6th period was drawing and painting. We tried to recreate a painting of a blackbird. It’s not really different to the German art lesson but the teacher isn’t talking as much as the teacher in Germany. Finally, we had literature in which the students took a test. Meanwhile, I read the magazine „Auto Bild“.
Then, the bell rang, and the school day was over. Marla’s host mother picked us up after school. She’s often going to pick us up because my host family has to work. We all went to a pet store, where we saw a very cute white bunny. Then we went to a shoe shop, but did not buy anything. We also visited a book store, where Marla bought two novels. I was then dropped back home and took a nap while waiting for Manav. In the evening I had dinner with my host family. We had grilled steak and garlic bread. That night, I went to the theater with Manav and his sister, where we saw the movie Storks. I think the cinema here is way cooler than in Germany because they bring the food to your seat and you have a table in front of you. Up to now I love the American trip. I can only repeat that this is completely different to Germany and I love it
These are some pictures taken from the Chamblee group’s trip to downtown Atlanta on Thursday and the movie and pizza night before.
I woke up at 6:50. We started to school at 7:30, so I had to hurry up. The au pair of Ramon and my exchange partner, Ryan, drove us to school. At 7:35, we were at school and ate breakfast, which was very good and has been every time up to now.
It’s very amazing that the school does something like that for the students. I think it is a good way to make the school life easier and better, because it’s kind of home-feeling.
The first four classes, before lunch, were chemistry, French, acting and United States history.
The lessons were all done with laptops and the students almost never write on paper.
In chemistry we had to prepare a presentation about ourselves, which is called Pecha Kucha, and it was really funny.
In French, we did the things we had in Germany in sixth grade, which was very easy. I think, if I didn’t just stay here for two weeks, I would have a very good grade in French. 🙂 🙂 🙂
In acting, we invented a tube, where the snow will come out, when the students of Brandon Hall present their play.
In United States history, I just sat there and wrote down, what was written on the blackboard.
So it was very relaxed.
In these classes it was easy to understand all of the English terms. But later it got more difficult…
Then, after the first four periods, we got lunch. The lunch at Brandon Hall is very amazing. Every day, the food varies and every day, it is very, very awesome. They cook very healthy, so there were a lot of vegetables and fruits. I sat together with all kids from Germany, who are at Brandon Hall right now. It was very funny. We’re a crazy group of German students. 🙂
After lunch, I had the last three classes, American literature, world history and geometry. In American literature, we got some different work, while the American students of the class worked with the literature they read, which was kind of boring.
In world history, we talked about artefacts, which was very interesting.
After that I had geometry, with three other Brandon hall students, one girl and two boys.
That was more difficult to understand than the other subjects, because I didn’t know the English terms that were needed for geometry. So I think I look kind of stupid, because I had to ask a thousand times what they said or what is meant by this.
After school, Ramon, Maike, Lennard and I watched the soccer game, which took place at Brandon Hall and was very, very funny.
At 6pm, the au pair of Ryan picked us up and we went to a frozen yoghurt shop. The frozen yoghurt in America is the best I ever ate. I had the flavors green apple, watermelon, cotton candy and mango.
There was a big wall, full of flavors of frozen yoghurt. When we were at home, we had some time to relax before we went to Ryan’s father, where we had to sleep. His father comes from Germany and is very nice.
The best of the day was definitely the frozen yoghurt. What I think is very amazing and impressive is that all Americans I’ve met until now were friendly and open-minded. That’s a big difference to Germany. I’m very happy that Ramon and I got this host family, they are very nice and friendly and we have a lot of fun with them. I hope it will be like that the next 9 days too.
It was a very nice day, in a very nice country. 🙂
Friday night is game night. Some of our students spent it cheering for BHS’s soccer team from the sideline (THG’s very own Fabienne Liedtke as a cheerleader!), others were watching high school football.
I am Maja and I am staying at the Wright family, who are so lovely and friendly, I really like them. They always ask if I am okay and care very well for me. We (the family and I) do trips very often and they are a lot of fun.
Now we have a fall break and because of that we have a different daily routine than when we have school. That means that I usually wake up at 10:00 a.m. Today I woke up at 10:40 a.m. After I finished my daily morning routine, I had breakfast: bread with Nutella and fruit.
Because we have the break I always go downstairs to my room and chill a bit to get over the jet lag. Meanwhile I often watch TV shows on Amazon Prime or YouTube videos.
After that I start getting ready and then it is lunch time. For lunch we often eat something from Chick-fil-a. It is a fast food restaurant, where all of the dishes are prepared with chicken. It is very yummy.
After having lunch, we often do a trip. Today we went to Stone Mountain which is a giant granite rock mountain about 20 minutes east of Atlanta. We climbed the mountain, which took about an hour. And it was so exhausting! Once we finally reached the top, we had a beautiful view of the skyline of Atlanta. After we took weird photos of ourselves, we walked down and headed to the laser show, which was also amazing! The rock acted as a screen for the laser beams, but there were not only laser beams, but also fireworks and music. When the show was over we drove home and I was so exhausted.
The communication with the family is really good. I understand them and they understand me.
But if I do not know a word, I can ask Sarah (she is my exchange student) or her brother Will to translate the word, I do not know in English. However, I can communicate very well with the family.
After one week in America I can say, that everybody is friendly, not only the family, but also the teachers and students at school or the employees in the restaurants and shops.
One stereotype is that all the Americans eat fast food and that is absolutely the truth! In this one week the only healthy food I ate was an apple and a banana. The rest I eat was only fast food. For example one day we went to Chick-fil-a for breakfast. I had chicken nuggets and a kind of fries. It was so crazy. But I like it, because in Germany we do not really have the opportunity to eat fast food everyday (maybe it is because of my mum).
All in all I can say is that I am very glad to stay in the Wright family because everybody (the father David, the mother Sally, my exchange student Sarah, her brother Will, her sister Madelyn and the dog Charly) are so friendly. They do their best and I am so happy that they are so lovely! Now I will stay at their house for one more week and I am so excited!