Kategorie: Ausland und Europa

Atlanta Blog 2023

Hello and welcome to our Atlanta blog🌎

In 2023 we’re happy to be celebrating a decade of our school exchange program with high schools in Atlanta. This year we’re cooperating with Dunwoody High School with which we’ve had relations since 2018 when we hosted some of their students at THG.

Yesterday our unusually small group of six students and I embarked on our two-week trip to Atlanta and were warmly welcomed at Hartsfield Jackson Airport by the host families and Mr. Henderson, who is one of the two colleagues without whom we wouldn’t be able to be here. On Wednesday we will be joined by Ms. Demel who is taking over for Mr. Riemer this year. Unfortunately, his part of the program had to be temporarily suspended, but we’re working on getting it back on track for 2024.

I have just returned from DHS where I met Principal Bass, Mrs. Steinbrenner, and all students for a welcome breakfast. Everybody was in good spirits and looking forward to an eventful week including a pep rally and an important football game on Friday night.

So, in the following two weeks the students and I will regularly post blog updates of our experiences at school, with the host families and all activities. Stay tuned for more!

Best wishes!

Steffen Teigelack

This year’s group.

Welcome to Atlanta!

Mr. Bass, Mrs. Steinbrenner and me.

Welcome breakfast


Today, Monday, September 25th, was our first day at the Dunwoody Highschool. We arrived yesterday at around 4:15 pm, the entry into the US was surprisingly easy.
Our host families welcomed us with self-made signs which was very sweet. After that everyone drove home and settled in.
My family consists of my exchange student Marin, her 13-year old brother, their parents, a cat named Gracie and the dog Luna. Their house is quite big and very typically American with a garden and a beautiful veranda. Also, their fridge is huge and they always have a box of ice cubes that they put in every drink.
The entire neighborhood consists of similar houses that all look slightly different and have a very big property. That’s already a difference to Germany. There, our houses are smaller, often look entirely the same and are located quite close to each other.
Additionally, many of the surrounding mansions are already all dressed up for Halloween, which is in a month. There are huge sculptures of ghosts, skeletons and fairy lights decorating the yards and facades of the houses.
So yesterday I tried to stay up as long as I could to avoid the jet lag and today I got up at around 6:40 am.
Marin and I were picked up by a friend of Marin’s who drove us to school. Before going to our first class, which is Literature, we had to pass a metal detector for security. The school is very big, I would surely get lost without my exchange student. There are certain areas for each field of subjects, so for example one for science, one for art and one for technical subjects. Every teacher has their own class room that they decorate accordingly to their subject.
Around 2100 students go to Dunwoody High School being almost three times as many as go to the THG, one have to keep on mind that DHS is a high school with 9th to 12th graders and THG includes middle and high school, so 5th to 12th grade. That means that each grade here is very big and you definitely do not know everyone.
Additionally, the students have the same schedule everyday, so only four subjects per semester, which is why it is very unlikely to see your friends that often. Marin has Literature, Spanish, Maths and Art, every period last an hour and a half.
As we arrived in Literature class, the teacher was a little bit confused since she did not know about the exchange. Therefore, Marin and I went to the principle’s office and I got to know the principle who is very nice and friendly. After that, all the Germans with their exchange students went to the auditorium where a welcome breakfast took place. They ordered chicken biscuits, pop tarts, little donuts, fruit salad and orange juice from Chick-fil-A which is a fast food chain that originated in Georgia. Marin actually works there once a week. Anyways, I thought it was very nice of them to organize this little welcome celebration. I also got to talk to some other exchange students and my German friends which was pretty cool. We took a few pictures and the principle was generally so excited to welcome us, he even gifted us shirts with the school logo. My host mom told me that you value hospitality a lot in this are which I can already see.
After the breakfast, we had Spanish class and then there is a 30 minute “break” called ROAR, which is meant for the students to study. Normally, you switch the subject you go to everyday. So for example Literature on Monday, Spanish on Tuesday, etc… But today we were told to meet the German club and then made a quick tour of the school. Lunch is at around 11 am, you can eat the school lunch, but apparently the food is very bad, so we my host mom made us lunch before school. We brought
a sandwich with cheese and chicken, cookies and chips. It really is typical for America, but I did not know that the kids really only take candy and snacks to school.
Everyone has these little chips, popcorn or candy bags that you normally buy at a kiosk or a vending machine. Also, the sandwiches are mostly packed in plastic zippers which they use a lot to contain food instead of actual containers.
After lunch, we had Maths class but there was not a lot to do. I talked to Marin and we discussed what we wanted to do after school. The last period was Art and the teacher was very funny and friendly. The theme was negative space, so we colored in a few sketches.
School ends at 3:15 pm. Generally what was striking in school was that classes were a lot more chill than in Germany. Usually, the teacher gives some task and the students get the lesson to
work on them. Everyone has headphones in and they barely write anything down. I usually do not need to participate, but I try to keep up a little, otherwise I use the time to write this blog or study for school in Germany. Also, the students are very close with their teachers and talk to them like they talk to friends, so they are not very strict.
Additionally, it is pretty warm outside, around 30 degrees Celsius but the school is so cold due to air conditioning. You need to wear a sweater not to freeze.
My host dad picked me up from school since Marin still had to go to tutoring for another hour. So her Spanish teacher basically stays one more hour to help her understand the subject better since it is very hard for her.
I arrived simultaneously with Marin’s brother Cooper, he goes to a private middle school. We went on a walk with the dog Luna and talked a little about their family and the school system. Then, he made us Ramen noodles and Marin arrived at home. Later, Marin, Cooper and I drove to the mall. In fact it was Marin who drove and her dad was in the passenger seat. I knew that you can get your license really early in the US but it is still pretty odd to me that teenagers are able to drive the car.
Marin is 15 and apparently they can drive at 15 with their parents and then at 16 fully alone.

At the mall, we went into a few shops and got a milkshake at Chick-fil-A, the fast food chain I was talking about. What also really surprised me was that Dunwoody is a
rather small and rural town and they still have a mall with shops as big as in our bigger cities in Germany.
At around 7pm, my host mom picked us up and we drove home. Then she cooked dinner. We had Broccoli, barbecue pork and Grits. Grits is a creamy porridge-like side dish made of corn. It does not actually taste like porridge though, it is less sweet and slimy. The barbecue pork was not actually made on the barbecue it rather describes when you cook or smoke meat very long in a certain sauce. They told me that barbecue is a very typical food in the southern part of the US. In this area, they use pork and a rather tomato based sauce. In other parts, you use chicken and different sauces with mustard or vinegar. My host parents explained that this originated in the slaves that lived in the area. They had to eat the rather not edible parts of the animal, so they needed to find a way to make it taste good, that is how they came up with the long cooking and the sauces. Grits has a similar history, since corn is a very cheap food. During dinner we talked a lot about the food and they told me some family stories.
After supper, I watched my first football game ever. My host dad tried to explain the rules to me, but it is a little hard to understand. We generally spoke about sports, he told me about baseball and football and I told him about soccer. I was very tired after my first day and I went to sleep at 10:30 pm.

Today is Tuesday, so the second day of school.
I again got up at again 6:30 am and had cereals for breakfast. Like yesterday, Marin’s friend picked us up to go to school and the first period was again Literature, as I said the schedule repeats itself everyday. The students should read and analyse a text and I tried to join them and annotated the text, it was actually pretty easy to understand but I needed a little more time. In Literature, there are two teachers and one of them adopted a bearded dragon from a reptile rescue and she brings him
to class sometimes. It was so hilarious, she even put dragon wings and a leash on him.
In Spanish, I wrote the blog for yesterday and at some point the teacher came up to me and looked at my ID in my phone case. He asked me to show it to him and tried to read a few words on there. He was stuck on the word “Staatsangehörigkeit” and I showed him how to pronounce it which was pretty funny. The teacher also told me that he likes languages a lot but that German is really difficult for him.
We had lunch outside today which was again a sandwich, chips and cookies. I honestly already miss the German bread and vegetables.
In Maths, we again did not really do a lot. What I think is interesting is that in the beginning there is a daily affirmation. So the teacher goes: “Repeat after me, I am a scholar. Learning and studying is important to me…”. I’ve never experienced this before.
Our third period was again art. We had to do research on a few words. After some time there was a lockdown drill but it was not that big of a deal. It was stage 2, so the teachers simply locked the door and that is it. However, a few minutes later an armed police officer entered the class and asked us to leave the room and let all our stuff inside. We had to line up in front of the classroom and boys and girls were separated. They searched the room with dogs and shortly after we could go back in. Apparently, they randomly drug checked a few classes. So that was a crazy experience, all the students and teachers told me that it is not very usual and they joked that I get all the American charm during the short time I’m here.
After school, Marin and I were picked up by her mom and we went to the Chick-fil-A drive-through and got some food and drinks. Coke is from Atlanta so it was my first time drinking the original cola, I do think it tastes better.
Later, we went on a walk with the dog Luna and saw some deers on the street. Apparently, the deers are not shy at all so you see them very closely.
We actually wanted to meet Caro and her exchange student Sophia today but that sadly did not work out. Tomorrow we will meet all the exchange students at Emma’s host family’s place which I am looking forward to. I truly appreciate that the Americans are that uncomplicated and open.
Anyways, in the evening we went to a small supermarket and I discovered a lot of candy and flavors that I did not know before. For example, there are Takis, Twix with cookie and KitKats with Churro flavor. They also have sushi, pizza and pickles made of Gummi bears.
The evening was very chill, we had dinner and I spent some time with Marin before I went to bed. Tonight, Luna, the dog slept in my bed which was really sweet.
Today I talked a lot with Marin about different topics and I have to say that it is pretty easy to speak English with the natives. I appreciate that my entire host family explains a lot to me and really lets me be part of their culture. I truly look forward to the next days since there are some things planned. There is the pep-rally on Thursday, a football game on Friday, a trip to Atlanta on Saturday and a baseball game on Sunday.

Matilda Klug


I’ve just returned from Dunwoody HS where we attended a pep rally, which is an event that’s supposed to motivate the students for the upcoming football game tomorrow night. What a spirit!

Steffen Teigelack

Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th September

I’m Collin and I am staying with the Fosters family for the 2 weeks of our stay here in the US. The family contains of their 16 year old son Davis and his parents Chris and Sarah. They’ve got a nice house in Dunwoody a few miles out from the school and a cute little neighborhood in their street.

Wednesday was the 3rd day at Dunwoody high school and in Atlanta for us. Even in the first few day you were able to experience a lot of differences between a German and American lifestyle both inside and outside school. The first thing you’ll notice in the US is that everything is just so much bigger than in Germany, no matter if its cars, buildings or food portions. I have my own room in the house with a bathroom which combined is probably four times the size of my room at home. I got used to the time difference quite fast and as I have to wake up at a similar time like I had to do at home it wasn’t a big struggle at all and I adapted to the new rhythm after the first days already. 

Immediately on Monday we took the typical American yellow school bus to school which is so fascinating because you can just take it for free and it will pick you up wherever you stand and wait on its route to take you to school. The school is a lot bigger than the THG and it really confusing if you walk trough it the first time as every corner of the school looks the same. A high school basically contains the grades 9 to 12 in most cases and so does Dunwoody. Even though it contains only 4 different grades there’s still about 2000 students at the school and if all of them walk to their next period at the same time it gets really confusing in the hallways. The first special thing was that the school has metal detectors before you enter the school building which is more like an action to make the students feel save than serious controls but it’s interesting to see that they are reacting to some actions in the past that happened on different schools. Indeed it kinda looks like the typical stereotype of an American high school like its shown in movies and series with hallways, lockers and a huge cafeteria where everyone chills out during the lunch breaks but you have a lot of possibilities to sit outside as well. The classrooms look quite old from the inside but still they got very modern big touchscreens instead of boards where teachers can write with their finger or a pencil like on a normal board which is very fancy. The system of lessons is very difficult to the one in Germany, as you got certain periods each day that you have to follow. The students have the same periods each day for a time of one semester so there’s no variety in the days for about 4 months. You will have a lunch brake period every day to eat your lunch as you have no real breaks between the periods like we have in Germany to chill and eat. Every teacher got his own classroom in the school and the students have to switch to their rooms every period and there’s no real general staff room for themselves but use their classrooms as their office. The rooms are set up very similar and there are always two teachers in the same room that teach in the different periods. If you wanna use the bathroom during a lesson u need a so called hallway pass to go so teachers know that you are allowed to go and don’t skip any class if they meet you in the hallway. Theres an American flag in every classroom and there’s an announcement trough the speakers everyday when everyone is told to stand up for the flag which shows the all known American patriotism. On every Wednesday the school gets visited by a Coffee shop which sells delicious typical American things like muffins, donuts and a very delicious ice coffee with crushed ice, chocolate and caramel in it.

School ends at the same time everyday for everyone and the school busses will pick you up to go home and drop you of at any point of their routes. It’s a real carnage in front of the school as there are more than 20 busses at the same time that pick up students while students get picked up with a car at the same time as well. Something that’s very different in the school as well is the way of teaching as well as the working discipline within the classes. The school has certain platforms and portals to get working material on their chromebooks which every student has got from the school. Most of the times its rather working on material on your own with a possibility to hand your results in at the end of the lesson and get a grade for that or writing down what the teacher puts on the board. You don’t have the same kind of oral grades in the classes and even when comparing work from the lesson in class together you don’t have to show up and wait who gets chosen by the teacher but just loudly say your answer if you think you know it.

My daily schedule with my host student contains of the four periods Spanish, biology, geometry and art. Some teachers are very interested to hear about my first impressions in the new system and are very open and friendly towards me. The topics in the subjects are well known for us like cell division in biology or solving equations in geometry and I try to take part in the lessons as much as possible but most of the times I take care of my own stuff or have a chat with the students or teachers.

In terms of communication there’s no problem at all no matter if it´s with the family, teachers or the other students in the school. Sometimes you need a few seconds to translate as some people are speaking really fast and mumble a bit but if you at least understand some parts you can build the sentences together in your head. Of course you don’t always have the vocabulary to tell exactly what you mean but trying to describe certain words does it as well as most of the Americans are impressed that we can speak fluent english and there’s basically no language barrier at all. Sometimes if I meet some of the other German students I start to speak English out of habit before I remember that I can switch back to German. The Fosters took me to golfing on Monday and I watched my first Baseball match of my host student Davis on Tuesday so I already experienced quite a lot on the first days and there’s even more to come today and yesterday. We had a little pool party at the house of Emma´s host family at Wednesday evening with all German and American students of the exchange project. We had typical American barbecue with burgers and Hot Dogs and made S’mores (Marshmallows and a chocolate bar between 2 crackers) over a fire pit. We had a good fun and played some games in the pool till late in the evening as well as they got a heated pool and a hot tub in their garden. It was a great evening and we had a good fun all together. The mother of Emma´s family who is a teacher at Dunwoody high school asked us to come to the Mercedes factory which is located in Atlanta since a few years which we probably do next week.

The next day began very exciting as well as the „Wildcats“ which is the school American football team won the Fox5TV Team of the week award the first time since 2008 and there was a big ceremony (the „Pep rally“) in the school gym for every junior and senior grade instead of the 1st period. A TV team was there as well and the show was streamed live on TV in the whole US. Th school marching band played some great music an the atmosphere was just crazy for the whole time so you could really tell what an award like this means to them. They got a little trophy for the school showcase and during the advertisement breaks there were some funny games as well where teams of senior students, junior students and teachers competed in little challenges like throwing footballs blindfolded while your teammate has to catch it. We had some great fun this morning and we were really lucky to see an event like this as it’s s very special and doesn’t happen that often at any high school. Later that day I got invited to an Interview for the Dunwoody news network (basically like a school newsshow which is quite cool to have) together with Etienne and we had a good chat with them about our first experiences in the American lifestyle.

In the evening we went to a MLB (Major League Baseball) match of the Atlanta Braves together with mine and Emma´s host family. The Truist Park which is the stadium of the Atlanta braves is quite huge and looks almost like a little town when you come inside with a lot of snack and souvenir shops both inside and ahead of the stadium. Our seats were very high at a very good spot straight above the pitcher and catcher so we had. Great view on that. The level that these players have in terms of pitching is incredible as they throw the balls with over 90mph most of the times which is about 145kph and they go a lot quicker than that most of the times. Something crazy happened as well as the 3rd pitch (so the 3rd throw of the pitcher) we saw was a homerun by the home team and the whole stadium went wild with sirens, fireworks and everything to cheer as they are rarely happening even in the competitive leagues like the MLB. The game was a lot of fun in general as it was a great atmosphere and after some time I even started to understand the rules which made it quite interesting to watch even tho the game duration was about three hours. The Braves won with 5 points to 3 points against the Chicago Cubs and continue to lead the National League East standings with the most wins of every team in the whole MLB (103). We went home happy and came into traffic on the way home which was shocking as it was 10:30pm on a 5 lane highway and I still can’t understand how this is possible. We came home at around 11pm and went to bed immediately as we were very tired from the whole day.

These are only some expressions from the first days in the US and there are a lot more to come in the next couple of days until we fly home and you will hear a lot more expressions and experiences from the other students in the coming days.

Collin Lambert


We’ve just returned from our downtown sighseeing trip with the students. It was a splendid day full of sunshine and fun activities. Of course, we had to go to the World of Coke and try at least 20 different types of beverages they offer in the tasting room. You’d be surprised by the amount of tastes they offer (spoiler: about 100)! Then we went to the CNN center for lunch and right after that moved on to the Georgia Aquarium. It was great seeing everybody getting along so well.

We’re looking forward to our second eventful week and to many more good memories to be made!

Steffen Teigelack


I am Emma and I am staying with the Gates during our stay in America. My hostfamily consists of Greg and Chrystal, the parents, and Carson (16), Lauren (14), Maddy (9) and also three cats named Bear, Sunny and Gizmo and two dogs named Brody and Max. Carson and Lauren both go to Dunwoody Highschool as Junior and Freshmen, while Maddy is still attending elementary school. Greg does homeoffice, working in a company and Chrystal is a teacher at Dunwoody Highschool, which
is actually very cool, since she was able to show me the school.
They live in a beautiful house with a garden and a pool in a gated community, which means that there is a gate for which you need a code to get into the neighborhood. This was very new for me, since I have never seen anything like that in Germany, but I think it is a good thing, as it provides safety. The neighborhood is very pretty as well and is close to the Highschool, which is why I can walk to school and also back home.
Today was Friday, the 29th of September, and I started my day as usual at 6:30. At that time I got up, got ready, had breakfast and packed all my stuff. I was very tired because we went to a baseball game the night before and got home late.
In the afternoon there was going to be a football game, were the Dunwoody Wildcats played against the Marist Eagles. For those days, there is always a theme, and everyone dresses up accordingly. This time it was Cowboys/ Cowgirls, so many students came with Cowboy boots and hats. Since Chrystal is driving to school every morning, we left the house at 7:30 and
got to school. Today, the marching band welcoming the students at the entance.
In general, the school is way bigger than our school in Germany, which is why it was very difficult and confusing to find the rooms, but I think after a couple of days, I got the hang of it.
For the first period, I was in Chrystal’s class in Childhood Education, which is something like Pädagogik in Germany, where we talked about “the stages of Play“ and created a poster for this. After that, I went to Spanish class with Matilda and her exchange student Marin. For the “roar“, which is a period of time where all students have the chance to work up projects and assignments, we went back to Chrystal’s class, were we talked with other students, that wanted to know more about typical German food, traditions etc.
Then there was the lunch break, were we either go into the cafeteria or outside to eat our lunch. Lunch is also very different and way healthier in Germany.
Especially the first days, I was very shocked about the American lunch. Luckily my lunch is quiet healthy compared to the others, consisting of vegetables, a sandwich and some kind of snack. Other sudents would just have chips, cookies, sandwiches and chocolate bars or fastfood like burgers, pizza and nuggets, making it very unhealthy.
After lunch I went to maths and German class with Matilda and Marin. In general, I have the feeling that the lessons are, compared to Germany, more relaxed and some kind of easier.
After 4th period I went back home and called my parents and sister, since I was not able to call them yesterday. By the time Chrystal was home, Maddy and I went for a walk with the dogs Brody and Max and after that played some Volleyball in the frontyard.
In order to get some typical American food we wanted to try together, Carson, Lauren and I went to Target . It was a weird feeling driving in a car with someone who is your age but is actually allowed to drive, since Americans can get their driver’s licensce with about 16 years. We bought some sweets and drinks and then headed back home.
Later that day, me and my friends dressed up as Cowboys and Cowgirls and went to the football game. Even though it was a home game, it did not took place at Dunwoody Highschool, since the platform was a little bit to small for the viewers, which is why the game took place at another Highschool.
My host family and also the other American students told me that the other team,the Marist Eagles, are better than the Dunwoody Wildcats, which is why it was very predictable for them to lose, even though they won the last five games. I have never been to a football game before, which is why I was excited but also did not now what to expect. I also did not really now any of the rules of American Football, making the game really hard to follow and understand. After asking the American
students, I did understand the basics, but there were still some situations were I did not get the referee’s decision.
At the beginning the atmosphere was very good and everyone was cheering, clapping and singing, but unfortunately, the other team scored several times, making some of the students leave after the first two quarters. However, when our team scored at least 7 points, all Dunwoody Highschool studens were hyping the team up.
At these events, there is always the marching band playing between the breaks and after a team scored. They also performed a small show while the halftime, where they also had six dancers dancing in front of them. The band walks while they play their instruments and take different positions, which takes a lot of coordination and practice.
Furthermore, there were also the Cheerleaders from each team supporting their Highschool and hyping up the viewers with several different chants. They were wearing the typical Cheerleader outfits and their pompoms, performing different figures like flicflacs, cartwheels, some kind of flips etc., which I think is very impressive.
Since it is very exhausting, there were two differnet groups ot cheerleaders, the seniors and juniors, which took turns after the halftime. In the end, Dunwoody Highschool lost with 45:7, but it still was a great experience and it was a fun night watching the game.

Emma Xander


The next day started a little bit later than usual, since it was Saturday and we of course had a day off from school which is why we wanted to do a little sightseeing trip with our teachers Mr Teigelack and Mrs Demel. Of course the families were invited too, but since most of them had already visited the attractions several times, not all of the host students and families came with us.
Our plan was to visit the World of Coca-Cola, the CNN center and later also the Aquarium or the Center of Civil and Human Rights in Georgia.
Matilda and her host mum picked me up at my house at 9:30 am to meet at the World of Coca-Cola at 10 am. When everyone arrived, we got tickets and the tour through the museum started.
As we approached the entrance, we were greeted friendly by a guy who provided us with a brief overview of the museum and what to expect during our visit. We then watched a Coca Cola trailer and went into another room, where the closely guarded secret formula of Coca-Cola was kept in a safe. For me it was very surprising that Coca-Cola was originally medicine and was also used as such.
The tour then continued through showcasing the evolution of Coca-Cola‘s unique branding and advertising campaigns worldwide. There were different posters, signs and products from different years and decades in which you could see how the logo and slogans evolved over the years, which I think was very interesting. Furthermore, all the brands belonging to Coca-Cola, were mentioned in another room, which was very surprising because I did not know that the company owns that many other brands, like Sprite, Fanta, Powerade, Schweppes,etc.
Finally, we had the opportunity to taste Coca-Cola products from countries all over the world. We got to try the familiar classics, but also unique flavors like Inca Kola from Peru or Beverly from Italy. I think the weirdest flavor was pickle Fanta, which I personally did not like at all. But there were also some good flavors like pineapple Fanta and mango Fanta. I really liked the idea of it, but I did not like the majority of those flavors, since for me, some drinks just tasted very sugary and chemical. Before leaving the museum, all of us went into the Coca-Cola shop to get a little souvenir.
We then went to the CNN center, which was only a few minutes away from the World of Coca-Cola. Since we were very hungry, we wanted to get some food and decided on Chick-fil-A, which is very popular in Georgia.
The CNN is a multinational news channel and website which follows the latest news on politics, sports, health or technology 24 hours a day. The CNN center in Atlanta is basically the international headquarter of the Cable Network News. From the outside it did not look that impressive, but once we went inside it was quite impressive, as there are many offices and rooms. When we finished our lunch, we decided to go to the aquarium so we went back and got tickets.
The aquarium was actually way bigger than I expected it to be and had many different aquariums and animals, like aligators, penguins, starfish, rays, sharks, otters, sea lions, beluga whales, plenty different types of fish but also frogs and lizards.
They also had two whale sharks that were kept in an aquarium with manta rays and sea turtles. On the one hand, it was very impressive to see animals that big, but on the other hand I felt bad for the animals, since their aquariums and cages were not that big and they did not have a lot of space.
All of us were very impressed by the colourful coral reefs and all the tropical fish, which you rarely see in the wild these days.
The highlight of it was that we were able to see the penguins from close up, when we got into a kind of tunnel, which led into the cage, where we could also take some pictures.
They also offered sea lion and dolphin shows, which we were not able to see. All in all I think going to the Aquarium was a fun experience and we got to see many different animals, but I feel like it was a little bit too expensive and the animals did not live in the best conditions.
After getting out of the aquarium we all were very exhausted, got a coffee and enjoyed the sun in the park for a little bit while we talked about the major differences between our school in Germany and the Dunwoody Highschool.
Collin, Davis, Étienne and I then got picked up by Collin‘s host dad, who then brought us back home. On the ride I talked to the host dad and Davis about hunting and fishing, since he and his family do that in their freetime. It was very interesting hearing about his culture and point of view. They go hunting as a family and hunt nearly every animal from pheasants to deers and they sometimes even hunt aligators which I think is very unique.
Davis actually started going on hunts at the age of 5 and killed his first animal already at the age of 7, which for me is crazy to think of. The licenses for that are also a little different compared to Germany.
When I got home, I packed up some stuff to Big Canoe for one night with my host family, since they have a cabin located there. The drive only took about one hour and led through a beautiful landscape with beautiful houses and we also got to see some deers and an armadillo.
The cabin is located in a some kind of forest with an spectacular view on the mountains, from the balcony where we could also watch the sunset, which was very pretty that evening. Chrystal also told me that they sometimes see deers, squirrels and even bears from the balcony, which I think was scary but cool at the same time.
After our arrival, we had dinner, played some cards and after that watched a movie together. For the next day we planned to go to a pumpkin farm and pick some pumpkins for Halloween decoration and we also wanted to visit Helen, which is a German city. Since it was a long day and we planned to do a lot the next, we went to bed early after finishing the movie.

Emma Xander


Hey, I am Caroline. For the exchange I am staying with the Baier’s who are a blended family: My exchange student Sophia’s parents are divorced, but she lives with her father Rodney Baier who is a dentist and her stepmother Veronica Baier who works as a dental assistant. Veronica‘s son Shane also lives with us and Sophia actually has another sister called Kaitlyn who is already 24 years old and lives and works in the city of Atlanta. On top, she has another stepbrother who does not live in Atlanta, so I have not met him yet. Sophia herself is 15 years old and visits Dunwoody highschool. Since she primarily lives with her father, she loves to visit her mothers home at weekends and they often to go to church together. Together with their four dogs Scrappy, Oakley, Karlie and Leddie, the family lives in a communtiy close to the city center of Dunwoody in a beautiful mansion which even has a pool in the backyard. The backyard facility is a great opportunity to invite friends over.
Today marks Sunday, October 1st which means that there was no school today. For my stay, I live in a beautiful guest room with a king-sized bed and an own bathroom which means that I got lots of space. This morning, I got up at around 8am which proved to be a little challenging: We had returned home very late yesterday since my host family took me to my first ever baseball game in the evening: The Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals we playing, luckily, the Atlanta Braves won. I learned that the Braves are actually one of the top teams in American baseball. I however then proceeded to get ready quickly and afterwards cleaned up my room since I knew Veronica wanted to clean the house today.
My host family and I shared a typically American breakfast of bacon and eggs with some white bread. It feels very unusual to only have white toast since we have many more different types of bread and bread rolls in Germany. Furthermore, I am not used to have any kind of warm breakfast since I normally eat some cereal at home.
At around 9:15am, Sophia‘s mother Julie picked Sophia and me up and drove straight to church: Even though I of course knew that churches in the United States had to look very different in comparison to our considerably older churches in Germany since the churches in the US were built way later, I was not prepared for what I saw when we arrived: The church building had the size of a huge shopping mall and was very modern. Julie dropped Sophia and me off since she still had to take care of some stuff and wanted to join us later. When we entered the church building through the backdoor, I was very surprised and even a little shocked: We had immediately entered the so-called basement of the church which had the size of an elementary school, however, since we were running a little bit late, Sophia could not show me around. So, we hurried to the “Friendship Room”. There, since Sophia is part of a “Bible-Study Course”, about 10 other teenagers our age already waited for us. That event was strikingly similar to a class at school, however with the difference that all students were seated on huge sofas all over the room and the “teacher” was a girl not much older than us. To start off, everybody introduced themselves again since I had never met them before. We proceeded by sharing the weirdest or funniest experience or moment each person had witnessed at their school. I was delighted I was also allowed to participate. In the next 45 minutes, we read excerpts of the bible and discussed them: I was very surprised when I realised how serious each one of my peers takes those classes because normally, teenagers in Germany are not very invested in church-related issues. Everybody participated and the whole event reminded me a little bit of a Religious Education class at school in Germany. However, I did wonder about the teaching girl saying “You are getting a good grade in bible today“ after some answers. Do those teens actually get graded for a freetime activity?
Afterwards, the church served Dunkin donuts for the whole class and we were allowed to chat with each other for a while: All of the guys were incredibly friendly and open and they asked me many questions about my life in Germany. Sophia had informed me earlier that one of her friends actually hosted exchange students from Spain and I had been very excited to meet them, but unfortunately, they were not there today, however, I might still get the chance to meet them on Wednesday since we will spend that day at church too. I also only now learned from Sophia that the girl who taught the Bible-Study class actually is obligated to give out grades regarding participation and quality of the contribution of each teen. That answered my question, but I was still very surprised since I am unfamiliar with actually getting graded for freetime activities.
However, when we went upstairs to the main floor of the church to be on time for the Sunday service afterwards, there were hundreds of people in the huge lobby hall. Sophia told me that today was actually a special day at church called Together-Sunday which means that I just came at the right time: Together Sunday is celebrated because the church actually is not only home to Christian parishioners, but also contains Hispanic and even Indian religious communities who all came together for a huge service today. The service hall of the church looked very different to the insides of a European church: The hall reminded me of an extremely modern theater or opera since there were huge rows and many stories. The sermons etc. were held on a huge stage with fairy lights and LED-stripes that blinked in all colours. To the sides, there were huge French doors which created a beautiful light reflection. Maybe that explains why this church can be home to more than one religious community: Since many features of the traditional Christian church are missing, other parishioners can also celebrate their religion at the “neutral” church. At the beginning of the service, young 3rd graders were gifted their first bible by the church organisation which demonstrated that already very young kids are members of churches here. The actual service was surprisingly similar to German service since a pastor held a sermon, however, next to him, a woman translated each sentence into Spanish for the members of the Hispanic community. That surprised me since it is a striking difference to church communities in Germany. Maybe that is the reason why more people visit church here in Atlanta. Furthermore, the worshipping songs reminded me of modern popsongs since they all had a beat and we played by guitar and drums. I actually knew some melodies and was able to sing along at some songs. After the service, at around 12am, the church offered barbecue lunch for everybody which was why there were tables all over the lobby. It was extremely unusual for me since I had never experienced such a thing before. During lunch, I had the opportunity to converse with many different people at church. Some of those conversations proved my theory that many kids my age actually see church as a hobby just like sports or playing instruments. Since Sophia’s mother was not able to pick us up immediately after the meal, Sophia used the remaining time to give me a tour of the church: I was very surprised since the basement of the building had many showrooms which looked like small theaters, a cafeteria for the kids and teens and huge rooms that can be used for dancing or playing instruments.
Furthermore, some of the very invested teenagers have own offices at church where they organise meetings or even services.
At around 1pm, Sophia‘s mother Julie took Sophia and me to her home which luckily was not far away from the church at all, the car drive only lasted 15 minutes. There, Sophia insisted to watch some episodes of Phineas and Furb, an American children’s cartoon series, because she was shocked I had never heard of it before. Afterwards, we started baking the typically American cookies and even prepared some onion rings for us to eat. We drank some iced coffee and watched popular American Halloween movies. I was unfamiliar with most of those movies since the festival of Halloween is not as huge in Germany as in the USA. However, at around 5pm, Sophia‘s mother drove us to church again since Sophia is part of a so-called small group there. On the way, we stopped at a taco place to eat dinner quickly. I have noticed that I almost always have eaten out which is unusual for me since I normally eat and cook dinner with my family at home. At church, the small group is a group of 6-10 teenagers of the same age. Together with a suvervisor from church, our group, which consisted of 6 people including me, discussed a bible story and shared stories from school. The girls at Sophia‘s small group and also the supervisor were very kind which was why I enjoyed the event. I am also in awe of the small-group concept since it is a great opportunity to find friends outside of school. After an hour, Sophias mother picked us up and drove Sophia and me back to the Baier’s home and dropped us off there. At home, I am currently working on my blog and will head to bed soon. However, upon reflecting on my experience today, I cannot help but immediately notice the huge difference between church here and at home: In Germany, churches have become pretty unpopular for teenagers. Here, many teenagers visit church because for them, church is not just being in services, but mostly spending time with friends and establishing new contacts and relationships. Furthermore, churches here offter much more programs for their youth organisations than churches in Germany.
However, even though I did enjoy my experience in an American church, I could not help but miss the more traditional service and a majestic, old European church building. Overall, it was a worthy, exciting
experience for me which showed me that church can also be a freetime activity for teenagers when they have enough opportunities there.

Today, Monday, October 2nd, was a normal school day. Over the last week, I have developed a new morning routine since the mornings here in the US differ from my mornings in Germany a lot. At home, I usually get up at around 6:45am, have a quick breakfast, get ready and leave my family’s home at around 7:30am. I can decide for myself whether I take the bus or walk to school. Here however, that is very different: I get up at around 6am which is very unusual to me since I normally get up considerably later at home in Germany. The first thing I do in the morning here is cleaning my room, afterwards I get ready. At around 6:35am, my exchange student Sophia and I prepare our school lunch ourselves because her father Rodney and his wife Veronica already leave at 6:30am. Sophia and I always leave the house at around 7:20am, walk to the bus stop and take the bus to school at 7:30am. However, we would not be able to walk to school in the morning because the walk would last an hour and we would have to wake up even earlier. However, today was a little bit different for me: I overslept and only, luckily, woke up from Sophia knocking at my door at 7am. I hastily got ready and since Sophia had thoughtfully prepared some pasta and vegetables for my lunch, we eventually did manage to catch our bus to school at 7:30am.
The school buses here are the stereotypical yellow, small, older vehicles often seen in series and movies. Those buses are the reason why I absolutely love the ride to school since I get to see the environment of Dunwoody: Even though there is much forest, I can see beautiful mansions with huge front yards all over the place. However, the distance between the single homes is definitely bigger than in Germany which contributes to the stereotype that everything is bigger in the USA. We usually arrive at school at around 7:45am which, since the classes start at 8am, leaves us enough time to meet up with some of Sophia’s friends on some tables in front of the school. They mostly talk about recent school issues which include tests, essays or exams. Since Sophia had an exam in her subject AP World History, she was especially nervous and was grateful to catch up on some details before school.
In general, especially in comparison to the Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium in Germany, Dunwoody Highschool is huge since it is visited by over 2,000 students of four grades: They are either Freshmen,
Sophmores, Juniors or Seniors which means that there are way more people in each grade than at home. There are actually security controls at the entrance of the school which almost reminded me of airport security. You have to take all bigger metal items like laptops or Ipads out of your backpack and then walk through some scanners. Luckily, I never had any kind of problem regarding the checks since the security personal is very kind. As already mentioned in the previous articles and blogs by the other students, the school system itself differs immensely from the German system I have grown up with:
Everyday, the students here have the same four subjects in four periods, for Sophia, these are literature, chemistry, AP world history and German class. I have learned that AP classes are college courses which you will not have to take in college. Since college classes in the USA are very expensive, everybody is grateful to be able to take AP classes and school and save money. In literature, Sophia’s class read a novel about the holocaust and now they are presenting different aspects and issues of the Nazi-Regime in groups. Surprisingly, the teacher already asked me if I was uncomfortable with that topic since I am from Germany. Apparently, she thought that talking about the past of Germany was a new experience for me, which however, luckily, was not the case at all since we learn about the Nazi-Time from a very young age. Many students here had questions for me and I was happy to be included and answered them. In the second period, chemistry class, the teacher gave us a task in which we were supposed to calculate the molar mass of unknown elements and identify them. Étienne, who was with me in chemistry today, and I were surprised and even a little shocked since we already learned that in eighth grade and saw that many Sophmores in Sophia‘s class (tenth grade) had problems to complete the assignment. Actually, Étienne and I were one of the only ones in the class who got 100 percent on the assignment which made us happy and of course a little proud, especially because I do not even have chemistry classes at home anymore.
Next, I normally would have had one period of AP World History, lunch time and after another period of World History. However, since Sophia had a test in World History today, I went to math class with
Matilda and her exchange student Marin. But before, it was lunch time: Sophia and I met with Marin and Matilda and ate outside since the school does provide some tables under some trees. I had never
eaten there before since Sophia and I normally eat in the cafeteria between the two periods of World History. A striking difference between my school in Germany and Dunwoody Highschool are the hall
regulations: While in Germany at my school, you are allowed to move wherever you want to when not in class, Dunwoody highschool has strict regulations in place: In class, you are only allowed to use the
restrooms with a so-called „Hall Pass“ which confirms that you walking through the hallways is permitted by your teacher. Even in lunch, when you are not in class, teachers or security personel constantly ask where you are going. Even though this is new for me, I understand that the school wants to provide security and safety for their students since many school shootings have occured in especially American schools. This is probably also the reason for the security checks at the entrance at the beginning of the day. However in math class, Matilda and I tried to follow the class since we both were familiar with the topic, however some specifics like formulas greatly differed from what we had learned in school und the structure of the classes is very different from school in Germany. Matilda then accompanied Sophia and me to our last period, German class. My peers here are currently in their second year of learning and it is very weird and even a bit funny for us Germans to see other people learning the basics of the language, the native language you grew up with. The German teacher, Mrs. Steinbrenner, often includes us Germans in her class as we are able to provide answers to many questions of her students such as cultural or language related issues and aspects. Today, we first did some grammar practice with reflexive verbs and then started a small project in groups of three: For the project, we had to invent a product for personal care which does not exist but should. My group came up with a hairstyling laser tool which does anything you want it to do with your hair. Especially German classes are a great opportunity to get in contact with American students because we can have conversations in both languages and learn from each other. I have already exchanged phone numbers and social medias with a girl from German class called Hava and we are planning to stay in contact with each other after I leave on Saturday.
School ended at 3:15pm, however the day seemed a lot longer compared to days in Germany, particularly because there are no breaks except for the 30 minute lunch. Sophia and I rode the bus home and arrived at my host families‘ house at around 3:45pm. There, I had some cookies and got on a call with my friends from Germany since that was the only time of the day all of us were up. Generally, communication with family and friends has become difficult regarding the time difference of them being six hours ahead of us in Atlanta, but we do try our best.
However, at around 5:30pm, Marin‘s mother Kim and Marin (host mother and the exchange student of Matilda) picked me up since we all we planning to watch a volleyball game at Dunwoody highschool.
Unfortunately, Sophia was unable to join us because she still had some homework to do until the next day. We picked up Matilda herself on the way and then drove to the school where we waited for Pia, her exchange student Whitney, Emma and Étienne. It turned out that it was a game between Dunwoody highschool‘s different grades, however it was still very fun to watch. Even though volleyball is also quite popular at home, it was still a completely new experience for all of us to watch a game in the gym of a typical American highschool. The game had started at around 6:15pm and ended at around 7:30pm, however, Matilda, Emma and I still had to wait half an hour for our host parents to pick us up. We spent those 30 minutes watching another game outside which looked a little bit like American football, but none of us knew the actual game nor the rules. Rodney picked me up at 8pm and gave me a ride home which I was very thankful for. At home, we ate some leftovers from the last days which consisted of some Schnitzel, Sauerkraut, potatoes and pickles. After dinner, I played with the family’s dogs which was very fun. I love those dogs since my family at home unfortunately does not have any pets which is why having pets here is a great experience. I then took a shower, sent messages to my family and friends at home and then went to bed early since I do not want to oversleep again tomorrow.
All in all, living in Germany and the USA are two completely different experiences since the daily routine, including the structure of the school system, are incomparable since they are very different.
Furthermore, I have noticed that Americans (or especially American kids) go to sports events way more regularly than I do in Germany. This might be the case since there are almost no clubsports in the US
and many kids are part of highschool sport teams which gives many more kids the opportunity to involve in games or general sports events.

Caroline Kullik

10/03 & 10/4/23

Howdy! I’m Étienne and I had a great time in Dunwoody, a city north of Atlanta so far. I am staying with the Dunnick‘s/Ballow‘s (they were amazing hosts): My host student Ian, his brother Nathan and my host mom Amanda, who is working for the government at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Therefore, she could share small insight into the discussion of the governmental budget, which was a huge topic during the first week of our stay. Ian is an 11th grader and therefore a junior, like me. He’s playing the trumpet in the marching band of the Dunwoody High-school, which made it possible for me to take part at the practices throughout the week and the football game. It was a lot of fun, as the people are so kind and welcome you with open arms, like everywhere during this exchange (e.g.: saying “bless you” when someone sneezes, even if you don’t know the person). Therefore, it was easy to get in touch with people and it didn’t take much time to blend in.

Tuesday, October 3rd

It’s Tuesday, it means it’s a day during the week, which means it’s school time. It makes me a little jealous, because all the friends in Germany are going on vacation these days. BUT I am in Atlanta, so I shouldn’t complain about that.

Like every day I am waking up 7am. It seems to be a little late but as my host family lives pretty close (10 to 15 minute foot-walk) to school in a nice house. I mostly had cereal, of course one of the American favourites: Cheerios. As everyone thinks that the cafeteria lunch is horrible, most of them  take their own lunch with them. That’s why I am making lunch at the morning.

Even tough everyone gave their description on how school works in the US, I would still like to give my two cents. In this school there are four periods each day, which are the same everyday. That means that though a semester you got the same four subjects. In the first week I basically followed Ian’s schedule, which was: Filmmaking (that’s how I ended up I the schools own news, called DNN), AP Calculus, AP American History and Literature or German. It might be important to mention that AP classes are classes on college level and go way deeper into the topic. But because I wanted to use my time during my stay I tried to experience as many different classes as possible.

When we arrived at school we needed to pass the security controls, which is kind of annoying, but it is how it is.

If you are walking through the hallways you will find an endless amount of lockers, but Ian told me that they aren’t actually used anymore. So they somehow serve as an accessory for the stereotypical image of the school.

In first period I had art class with Emma. The art room are soo much nicer than the one we have. They actually provide all the art supplies for the students. And not only the basic stuff. You will find salt for textures, egg cartons and soo much more. The ceiling is also painted with different pictures of album covers, landscapes, etc..  one can actually find the Berlin Skyline too. Again the teachers were so kind, and we had a conversation about the good old southern hospitality, which as I already said does exist. It all just starts with saying hello to anyone.

I had Spanish in the third period. It was still a good experience, even if I can’t say a single word in Spanish. But at least I tried my best. Besides it is honorable to mention that during our stay the so-called “Hispanics heritage month” was in full swing. That means that there was some stuff going on concerning Hispanic culture.

During second period there is always the “pledge of allegiance”, which is given by Coach Bass (the principal of the Dunwoody High school (It’s hard to think about a better principal)) before the announcements of the day, with his unique “Let’s go!!!” at the end.

In third period, I went to Davis’ (Collin’s host student) math class. As I already went to the AP Calculus class, I could compare the levels that are taught in High school. And the difference is huge! That’s probably the effect of the non-divided school system. On this day there was the Waffle House truck in front of the school and Mr. Yoon was so kind and brought us some.

The last period was German class, and it’s really interesting to see how our native language is taught to non-native speakers. For some reason the word “Wassermelone” became a running gag.

After school we (Collin, Emma, Caro, Sophia, Laureen, Carson) went to Emma’s host family (somehow their house turned into a hub for afternoon adventures/trips), as we wanted to check out some typical American stores. And like every time we needed to eat some American junk food before going.

I drove with Carson, who is 16 but already allowed to drive which is crazy.

We first went to Home Depot, which is an American hardware store chain. Crystal, Emma’s host mom showed us something that a least I haven’t seen in Germany: an electric Shopping cart where you could sit on and drive through the store, either for handicapped or lazy people. It was really impressive to see all the HUGE Halloween and Christmas decorations. It really showed how big the celebration of those holidays are in the US.

Just next to it there was Costco, a mix of Metro and IKEA. Why metro? Because it’s built like a warehouse, with the pile of toilet paper stacked to the ceiling and the amazingly fitting child costumes of dragons, astronauts and my favorite, Air Force pilot. And why IKEA? Because of its famous hot dog and drink for the famous price of unbeatable $1.50 (and the hot dog was actually really delicious)! America just can do fast food.

But we were just halfway through the tour. After that we went to Petland, a store where you can basically get anything for your pet. But actually we were just there for the pets, that you could hold on your hand, like hamsters, different kinds of birds, bunnies and so much more. The only thing that we were a little shocked about was that then dogs were kept in way too small cages. In total we really spend too much time in it.

That’s why we needed to rush into Walmart, probably the grocery store when you think about America. Walmart was huuuge, so we weren’t able to check out everything. Something that shocked me was that there is way too much junk food. I mean, there are these meter long shelves, only with chips or only with softdrinks. I already had a stomachache by only seeing this stuff. They also had an insane amount of types of Oreos, for example with mint flavor, which actually tastes pretty good. As Walmart is famous for its cheap prices, so I couldn’t resist to buy an Atlanta Braves shirt, as I somehow got some sympathy for baseball. Two weeks ago I wouldn’t have thought about saying something like that.

I got home at around 8pm and I was just chilling around and went to sleep as the next day still had much to offer.

Wednesday, October 4th

We are in the middle of the second week and it’s weekday, that means: we got school! Therefore, the morning looked quite the same as on Tuesday and every other day before: Cheerios, making lunch, going to school.

In 1st period I had childhood education at Emma’s host mom, Chrystal. We tried Baby food, which was interesting. I somehow managed, to be one of the winners, even if I got some stuff wrong. The best was definitely the peach apple pulp.

On Wednesday is always that coffee shop next to the gym. It just opened recently and there is something special about it: Special education students are able to work there and sell coffee and small snacks. So, I of course got one.

In 2nd period I was again at Dr. S’ (His name is quite hard to pronounce so that’s his nickname) AP calculus class with Collin. They wrote a test and Collin and I tried hard to solve the questions but we were just too confused.

As am interested in biology, I went to biology class with Matilda. Again the teacher was so kind and had a nice chat with us.

In the last lesson I again went to German class, as we presented the projects of the inventions that should be brought into the world. Sophia’s group had the “Wasserwecker” with watermelon flavor, which was the one I worked on too and which was definitely the best invention.

After school we again went to Emma’s host family, because Crystal managed to organize a little tour of the US Mercedes Headquarters. We went there with all the exchange students except for Pia and Caroline.

We were welcomed by the huge Mercedes logo above the entrance and the head of PR and got some visitor passes. We started in lobby and got to know that this is the new US Mercedes-Benz headquarters. It opened in March 2018 and the campus covers an area of around 12 acres. The all new 2024 Mercedes EQE (electric E-Class) was displayed there too but sadly we weren’t able to sit in it. We went further to some meeting rooms which are named after important people of the company. This was followed by the main hall with the cafe, where they serve Starbucks coffee and the cafeteria, where the employees get freshly baked pizza. Form this point on Mercedes probably got a new potential future employee, as Collin somehow “fell in love” with this headquarter. Because the new Mercedes Benz stadium in Atlanta just opened they had a special room with a huge display, where they actually watched all the World cup games last year.

We continued with the gym in the basement and the rooftop were parties would take place. At the end we got to see the bureau section with more meeting rooms. Collin wasn’t happy with the chairs in the meeting room, because he thought they were not that comfortable. Outside we still got to see the EQS (electric E- Class) and were able to ask some questions, mainly about alternative fuels.

Even if it was a short tour only, I still think it was interesting to see the facility. Unfortunately, there weren’t so many cars on display, so Emma couldn’t really decide which car she wanted to buy.

After Mercedes we went to Village Burger, and I need to say that this was maybe one of the best burgers I have ever had. And one should definitely try the fried onion rings if one got the opportunity to go there.

That night the girls Dunwoody Highschool team had a game. The game was really nice to watch as Dunwoody kept the win home by winning with 3:1. We also had these typical posters that had some motivating words for a specific player and it was a lot of fun.

Emma’s host student Carson, drove me home after the game, while listing to the American Classic “American pie”!

It was a long day again and I needed some rest for the next day. But I am happy and thankful each day as I got to experience so much, improve my language skills and get to know so many nice people in those two weeks. For now I can say that this exchange again strengthened my love to this country!

Étienne Heim


My name is Pia and I‘m staying with the Salas family. Whitney, who I go to school with, is their 17-year-old daughter and a senior in Highschool. Since she has a car and a driver’s license, she can drive us to school every morning so we don’t have to take the school bus and save a lot of time. Her little brother Landon is 13 years old and goes to the private middle school where Whitney’s mother Crystal is a teacher. Alex, the dad of the family, plays tennis at the same court where Whitney plays too. They also have a cat named Oreo.
Today is Thursday, the 5th October which means that it is our last day of school at DHS because there is a small fall break from Friday to Monday. It is hard to believe that this is our last day, the time really went by way to fast.
Every day, Whitney’s first period is AP Calculus, so an advanced math class. After that, she normally has literature, but today i went to a different second period, Spanish. It was really interesting to see since I have taken 2 years of Spanish in Germany too, but unfortunately, I can’t remember much of it so it was really hard to follow the class. For 3rd period, Whitney has Finance. In that class, the students learn much about how to start your own business and do many group projects. For example, they do a project for this whole semester for which they havem to get together in pairs and sell stuff at school to earn money and the pair who earned the most in the end wins. Many people do DHS-related
merchandise such as sweatpants, hoodies, keychains or jewelry. They also learn about stock and investing, but on Thursdays, the lesson is different. Two speech coaches come in and the students do something called “toastmasters”, so they learn about how to deliver a speech -or a toast- convincingly. They have a different topic each week, and this time, it was “inspiration”. Two to five people have to prepare an about 4-minute speech that fits to this topic, so this time either something that inspires them or they try to inspire the others themselves.
Today, it was Whitney’s turn to give a speech and she talked about how her grandma that passed away before she was born inspires her. Once the people with the prepared speeches are done, the coaches give them feedback and say what they liked and what could still be improved.
After that, the second part called “table-talkers” starts, where one of the coaches tells a short story and then asks a question that has something to do with the story. They then pick a random person out of the group of students that has to come to the front and give an improvised 1to 2-minute speech answering that question. After about 5 to 10 rounds, the lesson is over and every tabletalker gets feedback too, but not with as much detail as the people who held prepared speeches. Today, I was picked to give one of these improvised speeches. I had to answer the question “When was the last time you thought that something was beautiful?” and I talked about the sunrise I saw on the
way to school a few days ago. For me, holding that speech was a very interesting experience since I was very nervous in the beginning but as soon as I started talking, it became quite easy for me and I ended up getting very positive feedback.
Whitney normally has B Lunch, but because of the Toastmaster speeches, it got delayed to D Lunch. Either way, I would not have been there with her since Principle Bass organized a “Goodbye pizza lunch” for all the exchange students. He also used that opportunity to talk to us again and tell us how much he enjoyed that we spent two weeks at Dunwoody Highschool and to surprise us with a gift again: he got us all blue DHS crewnecks, so school merchandise. We were very surprised and generally loved the effort he put into making us have a great stay.
After Lunch, Whitney normally has Human Geography, but since it was our last day, I decided not to go there with her but went to Emma’s host mom’s class with Emma and Matilda where we learned about childhood education. We did a baby food-tasting, so we tried many different kinds of baby foods and had to guess what it was afterwards. Then, every group table got a life-size doll of a baby that can make sounds like a real baby and when the doll started crying, we had to figure out why and try to make it stop. This helps to teach the students how to handle it when a child is crying.
After school, Whitney took Matilda, Emma and me to the Mall. Before getting there, we stopped at Moe’s, a Mexican fast food restaurant, to get burritos. At the mall, we were joined by Mei, Whitney’s friend. They showed us many different stores and we ended up buying quite much.
Before going home, we went to a thrift store. Everything was very cheap there and they had tons of different things, not only clothing but also toys, costumes and kitchenware.
At around 8pm, we then drove home and picked up food on the way from Chipotle, which is another Mexican restaurant. When we arrived at Whitney’s, to of her friends were already waiting for us: Jun and Alice. Mei had to go home, but the to of them spent the night at Whitney’s house since we wanted to do a sunrise hike on Stone Mountain, a well-known mountain in Georgia that is about half a kilometer high, the next day. Matilda and Emma stayed with us for another 2 hours and we tried lots of different American candy that the girls bought us. Most of the stuff was really good, even though some was not what I expected. At 10 pm, Whitney drove Emma and Matilda home and we all went to
bed since we had to get up before 5 am the next day in order to be at the top of Stone Mountain the next morning.

Today, on Friday, October 6th, we got up very early around 5am and drove to Stone Mountain with Whitney’s friends Jun, Alice and Lindsey. We arrived at 6:30 and were on the mountaintop about 45 minutes later. The way up was not very long but steep and partially really slippery. Every few meters, there were initials in hearts carved into the ground, some even dating from back in the 17th century. It was really cold at the mountain since we got there before sunrise. However, we were by far not the only ones who had this idea. A lot of people walk or run up the mountain for sunrise since the view is beautiful. One man who we asked to take a picture of us even said that he did this sunrise hike every single day for the past few years. We enjoyed the view and took some pictures for about one and a half hours until we went back down to get breakfast. The way down was a lot easier than the way up and we made it in about 25 minutes.
After that, we got breakfast at a small café a few minutes away and went home afterwards. When we were back, I had to say goodbye to Alice, Jun and Lindsey because this was the last time for me to see them. It felt really weird because I can’t imagine that we are already getting back, it feels like we just got here.
Later, Crystal took Whitney, her brother and me to get Ramen for lunch at a restaurant that opened a few months ago. The interior design was very pretty and appealing and they had robots who brought us the food which was very funny since they could even speak a few words. After Lunch, we went to Costco to buy a pumpkin. I was amazed by the size if the store as well as the size of the goods they sell. Everything was huge and they really had everything, from food to kitchenware to clothing to car tires. We had to search for a while until we found our pumpkin, but the reason for that was mainly because we stopped every few meters because they have lots of different free samples where you can try food. I could have spent a whole day in that store.
Once we got home, Whitney and I quickly got ready, took the pumpkin we just bought and headed to Sophia’s house, Caroline’s host student. We had planned to carve pumpkins together with the other exchange and host students. Sadly, not everyone could come buy we still had a good time.
Whitney and I had to leave early at 7:30 pm and changed at her house really fast to then go to SkyZone with her little brother.
SkyZone is a Trampolin park with UV light, so you have to wear a white or neon shirt to get in. Landon met up with two of his friends there and Whitney and I also tried out lots of different activities the Trampolin park offered. After about two hours, we were really tired so we decided to go home. On the way there, we stopped at McDonald’s to get fries and ice cream and arrived at Whitney’s at
Looking back on all the things I’ve done in these two weeks and all the people I met, I can only say how much I enjoyed it. Everyone was very friendly and there were no language problems at all. Even though many things, especially school, were not how I expected them to be, I had the best time ever and I think I can speak for all the German exchange students that it was definitely worth it – but
two weeks were way too short and passed so quickly.

Pia Kampschulte

Atlanta Blog 2022

Hello and welcome to our Atlanta blog of 2022!

After what felt like an eternity we are finally able to visit our beloved city again and have our students enjoy all kinds of exchange activities. We currently have 28 students with us, of which 12 are attending Cherokee Bluff High School (Q1 students) and 16 (Q2 students) that attend courses at Emory University, Georgia Tech University and do job shadowings in different companies in the Atlanta metropolitan area.

It is a special week for those attending CBHS since it is homecoming week, which means students and teachers get to dress up differently each day just for the fun of it, there is a pep rally, an important football game and a homecoming prom on Saturday. What more can you wish for in your true American high school experience!

I have just returned from CBHS to meet Mrs. Ramsey, the new prinicpal, and Mrs. Bretschneider, the English teacher that worked on getting the program started again with me. Both of them enjoyed our little present and send their warmest greetings to the THG community (see pictures).

In the course of the next two weeks every exchange student will blog about one of their days spent at school, in the host family and their free time activities. So, stay tuned for more exciting news from Atlanta!

Best wishes,

Steffen Teigelack

Mrs. Ramsey, the principal of CBHS, receiving her “thank you”-present
Mrs. Bretschneider with THG’s own goodie bag
Our students being picked up from the airport in a traditional school bus
Bear Spirit


Arisa Divivier

It´s Sunday, the first real day in Atlanta, Georgia, America, and it was really fun, active and exciting. We were obviously still jetlagged from traveling over 20 hours the whole Saturday, so the call was sleeping in. We woke up at 10 am and the whole family ate breakfast together, hashbrowns, scrambled egg, English muffin, toast and some juice. It was really good.

After breakfast I tried on some of their old really nice homecoming dresses for the following homecoming on Saturday. I am really looking forward to experiencing such a typical American thing like homecoming, which will be much fun with dressing up and having the party at the big school gym. After all that we got ready because we were about to do our first big activity. My host family, Tally, my exchange student, her sister and her mum, I and the aunt and the four cousins, which I met the evening before at some dinner, went to a “fall fair in Duluth”, which is like half an hour car ride away from our city. They are all very open, kind and welcoming and easy to talk to and also very interested in our life back in Germany and the differences to their life.

The fair was very big and had many small shops and stores with handmade goods, bands and live music and a lot of food. AMERICAN FOOD. And I tried many different things and it all tasted different but good. We had some normal cheese fries, which are pretty common here, nachos with some sauce, blossoming onions, which I´ve never heard of before, but it was fun to eat. The onion was like cut so many times, that when it was fried in oil, it will open up and look like a blossoming flower. It was really good and crispy on the outside and the onion on the inside kind of like onion rings. We also tried a typical southern cheese and fried Oreos which was interesting, also haven’t tried that one before. And for drinks we had frozen lemonade which was fun and at a small store we tried many different handmade drinks, like special lemonades with all kinds of ingredients. The whole American food is very different from German food or even European food in general but fun to try out and my first cultural shock.

When we arrived home again we didn’t stay long because our next stop was the “Gwinnett County Fairgrounds” which was so much fun. We went as a huge group. Vikky, Johanna and their exchange student Kameron, Jannis and Mats with their exchange student Trê, Hennes and Brett, his exchange student, and some other American friends and obviously Tally and me. We walked around, talked and got to know each other a bit more, went for some fun rides, the fast-spinning thing was the worst, and I watched some live action tricks on bicycles and motorcycles. We even got the opportunity to pet a donkey, cows and some baby ducks and chicken. They were so tiny and soft. On our way back we stopped by “Colvers” which also is a common fast-food chain in America and ate all together as big group. At the end we were all tired and exhausted, but everybody was excited for the next day, MONDAY, the first day in high school. I was so excited, and I didn’t know what to expect, something like high school musical? But so far everything has been so much fun and such a new adventure with so many different things.

One prominent and important aspect in the exchange is the “communication with a native English speaker”, obviously the Americans, and learning about the American culture. After like one and a half days I`ve already seen so much and experienced some of the American culture. Culture shock wise I would say the food is the most obvious one, like Chick-Fil-A etc.. But there is also a difference how they spend their free time, often connected to school sports, like the football matches every Friday. And how open they are and the person alone in America acts completely different than in Germany. Another major point are the cars. Everybody has one and they drive everywhere with their big trucks.

The communication between everybody is pretty easy. We talk in the big group of friends and with the host family about all kinds of stuff, normal conversations with no big complication and if there are any, they are all understanding and there is no pressure. One part about the communication is that some of them have a strong southern accent and use some different words which is funny to listen to but doesn’t cause any trouble understanding them talk.

But all in all, I would say that everything has been pretty exciting so far. I have already learned many different things and it is fun to really see the typical American things and really talk and use English and not just in class.


Mats Gentzsch

It´s Monday, the second actual day in my host family starts, among that it´s the first day of school and I was pretty excited about that. I was looking forward to all the new impressions of the American school, I was also very excited to meet a lot of new people, to get to know them and like them.

I started the day very normal, I woke up at seven and took my shower. After that at about 7:50 we went off to school in Tre´s car, Tre is the son of my hosts John and Carolina. When we arrived there, the first thing we did was going to the principal’s office to get our student Id card which we have to wear at any time in school.

Then at 8.25 Tre, Jannis and me went to the first class, physics, with miss Carter.

After that we went to our second period “The history of Rock’n’roll”, we didn´t do a lot there except helping the teacher Miss Coon move some pianos. What was a lot fun about that class was that we were introduced as the ”German exchange students” and nearly everyone turned around and started asking questions, being excited and honestly interested. It was just so much fun talking to them. After that my excitement rose even more.

We headed off to math class, we entered the room and we got a very warm welcome, the boys and girls were applauding and cheering for us. A girl was saying pretty loudly “the Germans are so cute” and then the lesson started. Miss Johnson, a very nice teacher, had a hard time with a student, that´s something you´d see in Germany too. We did something in class that I should have known because we had done it in grade 8 or something and I had to solve an equation at the board. That was just funny listening to all the comments of the other students.

The 4th period we had was Economics with mister Jackson, you can compare that class to our SoWi class. At the half of the lesson the bell was ringing and we had lunch, I got salad with fries and a chicken sandwich. I didn´t really like the sandwich ‘cause it was a bit too spicy. We were sitting at a table with every exchange student, who had lunch at block C and with our host students and their friends. A guy just randomly had a microphone in his hand and everyone started to sing Happy Birthday for a friend of the guy on the microphone. He was so embarrassed, and everyone screamed and clapped their hands. When we got back to class, we weren´t doing work, we were just watching “Hells kitchen”, a popular cooking show here. The last special thing that happened for me was a letter for a date to the homecoming ball which will be on Saturday 1st October.

The 5th period was “Intro to drafting and design” with Mister Zuluaga. In that class we had a talk with two army soldiers which were there to promote the army to the students. Honestly, they were doing their talk very convincingly and were funny with it.

Then in period 6 we had multicultural ELA with miss Bretschneider, one of the teachers that picked us up from the airport. We were reading a book, it´s called “the house on Mango street”.

Our 7th period was health care with miss Wilson

School was over and we drove back home. I talked about my day with John, Carolina was preparing dinner and Tre was helping her. Then at about 4:30 pm we had dinner, we ate some delicious pasta and talked a lot again. When I´m just in a conversation I sometimes just listen and think “oh that’s very similar” or “oh you wouldn´t see that in Germany”. John and Carolina are very kind and nice people and we a had a lovely welcome in the family. John works in real estate and Carolina is a nurse. The three dogs they have are very cute and fun to play with. Back to the day, after dinner we just relaxed a bit and at about 7 pm we went off to the mall to go to an “escape room”. We went there with some friends of Tre. We didn´t solve it but it was a lot of fun still.

When we got home, I was full of new impressions and kinda tired so I went to bed with a wonderful feeling knowing that I had a great day.


Steffen Teigelack

Today I spent a few hours at Dunwoody High School with Marge Steinbrenner, Dunwoody’s longest serving German teacher, and Will Henderson (via Zoom), to catch up on the years we haven’t seen each other. In 2018 they visited THG with a delegation of their students for a week and had a really good time with us.

After its cancellation a few years ago, Marge has taken up the German program at DHS again and we were looking into the prospects of our schools having a true exchange program in the coming years. Maybe we can even start as early as the fall of 2023 with our first visit to Dunwoody!


Jannis Lainck

It’s Tuesday, the third day at my host family and the second day at Cherokee Bluff High School. Yesterday I got some new impressions of an American high school, and everyone was so excited.

The started as the day before. I woke up and took a shower. Tre, our host student, drove us to school at 7:50 am. Mats and I are a junior, it means that we are in eleventh grade. In the US it’s kind of normal that the students drive to school with their own car.

The first lesson starts at 8:25 am. Our first class was Physics with Miss Carter. In Physics we learned something about vectors. The class size is very small compared to the class back home. We are like 20 students at Physics.

The next class was “History of Rock’n’roll” with Miss Coon. This class is bigger than I expected, we were about 25 students. Today we compared two different songs by Bill Haley. It was quite interesting to see how many different classes they have at an American High School and how special some of these are.

The third lesson was Mathematics with Miss Johnson. The class is the funniest class of the day. Mathematics is easier for me here in the US than back in Germany. The students ask us a lot of questions about Germany and what we like about the US. Miss Johnson is really relaxed with the class, it’s not strict like in Germany. In Mathematics there is also a comedian, who is the reason why we often have something to laugh.

After Mathematics we went to Economics. Our teacher Mister Jackson told us something about the inflation and the American economy. Economics is nearly the same as SoWi in Germany. The teaching style is way different in contrast to Germany. The students don’t have to raise their hands to say something. They can speak when they want to. One thing that Tre told me was that they often write a test on Friday. The test is about what they did in the week, but because of the test the oral contributions by students are not very frequent, and the lessons can be boring. Economics is the only lesson that is over two periods. Between these periods we had lunch. Today we had dumplings filled with cheese and a salad. The portions are kind of small, but the food is like the school food at our school. We sat together with the other exchange students and the host students. After lunch we went back to class. After Mister Jackson finished with what he planned for the lessons, the class watched the cooking show “Hell’s Kitchen”, which is a very popular cooking show with Gordon Ramsay.

The next class is “Intro to drafting and design”. Tre had warned us that this class could be boring because they must work on a project and Mats and I can’t really help him.

Next, we had multicultural ELA with Miss Bretschneider. In ELA we read the book “The house on Mango Street”. The last period was health care with Miss Wilson like the day before.

After school we drove back home and watched two episodes of “Cobra Kai”, a TV show about karate. At 6:30pm we went to a softball game because one of the group of friends plays for the school team. When we arrived, it looked like the school team had a chance, but at the end they lost 14:3. After the game we went to Shogun, which is an Asian restaurant where they cook in front of you. It was very delicious, but the portions were so big that we took half of the food with us. After dinner we went back home and straight to bed. This day was a nice experience. The school system is different than in Germany and the school sport teams are also new for me. These games are like a little event and there are some visitors. When I went to bed, I knew that I had learned something new and that this day was a great experience.


Steffen Teigelack

Today I visited Atlanta International School (AIS), a private school with a diverse language profile, and got to know Mrs. Marianne Robbiani who teaches German there. About 120 students have currently enrolled for German courses at AIS and the school already has an existing exchange program with a partner in Dresden. Nevertheless, Marianne was interested in the possibilities we can offer her students and wants to forward our program’s concept to her school’s administration. I’m looking forward to keeping contact and fostering THG’s transatlantic ties.


Henri Espenhahn

It is Wednesday, a good day to start into a normal week. Today the school day is not that long like on the other days. School first started at 8:40am and will end at 3:35pm. In the first lesson I attend physics. The stuff they do there is actually very easy because they are not so far with their school stuff like we in Germany are. After physics I go to an online class where everybody has the obligation to work on his or her own. In this case my host student works on his German skills. Then we have lifting as a subject. I am very stunned about what the other students are able to lift or how fast and how many pushups and pullups they can do. Next we go to the lunch break where we are eating together with most of my host students’ friends. They are all very friendly and funny and welcomed me at the first day. By the way the subject of humor differs from the German humor not that far, but it is built simpler. The people here are able to laugh about simple things and are making each other more compliments. The rest of my school day is divided into art, economics, US-history – film class and forensics.

After school my host student and me are driving to the gym and are working out for about one hour or sometimes even two. At the beginning it was very hard to keep up with him and his friends because their skills were very good. But I am improving myself slowly.

When we get back from gym we ate at Taco‘s Tacos. The food in the USA is not so healthy like in Germany but most meals and snacks you cannot get in Germany. In the USA Mexican food and burgers taste best.

In the evening we went to school again because the students and teachers organized a parade and a big bonfire. At the parade we met the other German exchange students and their host students. While the parade was taking place many cars drove through the parking area and the students on them threw candy to all the people. After the parade we moved on to the bonfire. It was actually just a big fire many people circled around. The atmosphere was very nice. The stars were shining in the sky, there was a big warm fire and everybody seemed to be happy.

Before it got too late we went to Dunkin‘ Donuts with some of the other exchange students. It is very cool to try so many different things in the USA because we do not have lots of things in Germany. Even the wildlife is very nice. When we went on a small hiking trip we saw lots of animals like deer, vultures and even a snake. The malls are even bigger too. There you have more different stores and a bigger selection.

To sum up, in the USA you experience many new things. You meet a culture where you have more possibilities than in Germany and meet many interesting people.


Steffen Teigelack

Today I spent some time at Emory University where Erik Riemer’s students attend all kinds of courses, are allowed to roam the campus freely and had their presentation on sustainability in Germany and at THG in front of Prof. Hieram Maxim’s German course. Enjoyed the discussions and the overall atmosphere!


Steffen Teigelack

Another interesting visit to one of Atlanta’s renowned educational institutions: Agnes Scott College. Got a campus tour – idyllic – and attended Mrs. Barbara Drescher’s German course where our students engaged in a lively interaction with the Scotties, that’s how ASC students are referred to:)


Hennes Schultenkämper

My experience in America was great so far. I have seen a lot of different new things everyday that are so different from Germany. My day usually starts at 7am when I wake up and get ready for the day. At 8am we leave the house, and my host student drives us to his precollege courses. These are either American history or political science, which is about how the political system has changed over time and how it is structured.

At around 10 am we are driving back to the school and have our lunch break. In fact, my host student doesn’t have a specific lunch break, but he usually eats at A lunch or B lunch and later goes into the library to do a bit of his college homework which is quite a lot. Our periods after lunch are Maths, Oceanography and American Lit. In Maths they do a lot of stuff which we did in 8th grade. However, Oceanography can be compared to the stud we do in geography and American Lit. is something completely different. In total, they also write a lot of smaller tests, which means that class participation isn’t that important.

After school we are going back home and chill for about an hour or two before we leave again. In that time we do something like going to the fair or watch the homecoming football game which was my first football game I have ever seen. After these events it is often around 8 to 9:30 pm. At this time, we either go to eat something at one of the fast food restaurants or we just go home. The best fast food here so far was from Chick-fil-A, which is a fast food restaurant which sells a lot of food made out of chicken. Also, a lot of students in America work to earn money for something like a car or just because a lot of things are more expensive here. At home we watch TV and go to bed afterwards.

In total, I have noticed a lot of differences compared to Germany. The first thin I noticed when I got to Atlanta is, besides the language, the traffic. In Atlanta downtown and in Flowery Branch way more people drive a car than in Germany. This can be seen on the highways which sometimes have 6 lanes or go over each other three times. However, if you go to the suburbs, you can see the reason for that. Atlanta is a huge city and everything is spread out a lot so that you have to have a car to go somewhere even if it is the next grocery store. The point that is different is that the grocery stores bot onyly have groceries but a lot of other stuff like costumes or school supplies. Nevertheless, schools are different. The Cherokee Bluff High School for example is compared to the THG more of a flat building with a bigger cafeteria in which every student has a lunch break, a huge library in which you can study and the many different sport fields for the school teams, which are pretty cool.

The language here is very different from what we learn in our school. In our school everyone has at least a bit of an accent which makes the American English a bit harder to comprehend. However, this changes over time and you get used to it. Another side effect of only talking to people that are native speakers is that your pronunciation of some words improves because of that. In my time here it also helped that my host family has spoken a bit louder to understand them easier because they usually don’t speak that loudly and clearly. This style of speaking is the major difference to the German accent. It can be reversed if Americans try to speak German words which results in them not stressing specific syllables as Germans do. To sum it up, I learned a lot of new slang words and was able to improve my English-speaking abilities which are way more important than just writing here. In a nutshell, the USA is very different from Germany however, you can still have a lot of fun despite these cultural and language differences.


Lias Popis

Today is Friday, school starts at 8:20 am. Colin’s Mom drove us to school like every day. Interesting about this school is that students can buy an actual breakfast there. I got myself a spicy chicken sandwich. In the first period we had Biology where we learned about osmosis and did a little experiment with potatoes and water with sugar. We had to guess if the potatoes would gain weight or lose weight after this weekend. In the middle of the period there was suddenly a teacher with a real snake around his head. It was so cool to see that!

In the second period we had literature, but Colin wrote a test, so I had to stay at the student library. But at least Colin wrote a good test.

In the third period we had History where they wrote a test too, but this time I could stay in the class and watch them. It was weird because everyone could listen to music, and everyone wrote their test on a computer. I wish we could do this in our school.

In fourth period we had Engendering, which was my favorite subject because everyone is so nice!

While all the students hat to work on a project, I built a plane out of wood with the teacher.

After that he explained to me that the school also builds robots. Another interesting project was the electric car one class is building and planning.

Then we had lunch, we had a pizza with milk. The school lunch is ok but it’s better than nothing.

It’s always a great experience during lunch because there are so many people you can talk with in the cafeteria. I sat at Colin’s table with a part of the marching band.

After lunch we had math, but it wasn’t regular math, everyone had to present a passion or thing they learned in the last month, and we got everything, one guy programmed a game, 2 girls learned sign language and one guy learned Spanish!

The rest of the period we could work on stuff we had to do or on our “passion” that they can present next month. I personally worked on my school stuff from Germany.

In the last period we hat German, but they had no German teacher, so they learned German on their laptops. It was Interesting to see how fast a school could adapt to the situation because it was not a long time ago where the teacher was still in their school, they learn German on their school website. The website looked a bit like Duolingo (Language Learning-App). Colin worked on describing the way to locations. After school we waited in the cafeteria till his grandma brought Colin, Hailee (his little sister) and me home. At home we did a little house cleanup and after that we watched a movie together.

Later that day Carlotta, Estelle, Arisa and I went to the mall, which was a cool experience because the mall was giant, we went to many stores like Vans, Footlocker etc. At the end of the day, we ate Taco Beell for dinner, and it was so yummy! At 9 pm the host dad of Carlotta and Estelle drove us home.

My host family had friends over at their house and we all ate some smores. It was so cool to speak with them just to exchange information and some stories. Also, a crazy thing was that they had a flamethrower to light up the fire.

To sum up, the USA is a great place, everyone is so nice, and the schools are so modern. One downside of the American schools is that they have the same subjects every day and I think after a while this will get very boring. But in the end the USA is great!


Johanna Brandenburg

Hey guys!

It’s Saturday. We have been here for one week now and as you already know; it was homecoming week. So, the whole week was full of fun events such as theme days, a football game, and a bonfire. Today, this homecoming week ended with the actual homecoming dance. This was the day we all were most excited for!

This morning I woke up at 10 AM. I am in one host family with Vikky, so we both got ready and went down for breakfast. Kam, our host sister, introduced us to her friend Maddie and made cinnamon rolls for all four of us for breakfast. After that, Kam, her Mom and Maddie went to pick up flowers for our homecoming pictures. I used that time to call my best friend. Our call lasted two hours and after we hung up, it was already time to get ready. We listened to music, helped each other to do our hair, did our makeup and got dressed. In total the whole process took us two and a half hours. The mood was great and I had a lot of fun.

At 4:30 PM we took off to Sugar Hill, where we wanted to take our pictures. At first, I thought that it would be so unnecessary to drive to a photo spot and plan to spend there one hour, because I never did it before. It turns out that it is actually a pretty smart thing to do. We had a lot of time, beautiful surroundings and we got some pretty pictures. We missed our exit on the highway, so when we got there a little late everyone was already there. We met the homecoming dates of Kam and Maddie, who were John David and Nico. They brought their families and there were also a lot of other students who wanted to take pictures.

After everyone was happy with the number of pictures we made, John David drove us to an Italian restaurant, luckily he came with a big Land Rover so all six of us could fit in. We made our reservations at the wrong restaurant, so we had to wait a little bit, but the food was definitely worth the wait. We left the restaurant at 8 PM and drove to Cherokee Bluff High School, where the dance was. In the car we turned the music on full volume and sang along, to get in the right mood for the homecoming party. I think it’s so cool that almost everyone at the school, who is older than sixteen has their own car. It makes them so flexible and they can listen to the music they want. Also, our host sister has really cute decorations in her car.

When we arrived, we ran into some students who were about to leave because the dance was lame. Which was why I had low expectations when I walked in. We immediately spotted some of the other German students and the decoration was so cool! The music was good and there was one song where everyone started dancing a choreography, which I had never seen before. But it was easy, so we joined them and it was so fun!

At the dance there was also free food and drinks such as cookies, capri sun and lots of other candy. In one corner there was also a photo spot where you could take pictures and videos and send it to your phone afterwards. We all had a lot of fun tonight. We left the dance at 10:15 PM and drove to JDs house. I love American houses and how they are built by the way. They are all made out of wood with pretty colours and they all look different. The neighbourhoods are really lovely. JDs house has a pretty big basement with a table-tennis table, a kitchen, a couch, a TV and a bathroom. Vikky and I played table tennis for a little while and then we played card games and ate brownies. We had to be home by midnight so we said goodbye and left JDs house at 11:50 PM. At home we talked to our host mom for a little bit and then we went upstairs. Vikky and I share a bedroom and for the night Kam shared hers with her friend Maddie who was with us the whole day. We went to bed at 1 AM and I fell to sleep immediately. It was a great, adventurous and exhausting day.


Estelle Bauer

Today has been an especially interesting day, as it was the night of homecoming. Per definition the day started precisely at 12 am and at that time we were impatiently waiting for our orders at an American restaurant chain called “Waffle House”.

Jackson, who is a friend of our host sister`s older brother, drove Arisa, Carlotta, and me to said Waffle House, since we had a long talk when we first met at our host family’s house and got along undisputedly well.

So, the four of us were hungrily waiting for our food after dancing all night, comfortably seated at a table near the bar at the 70´s style restaurant with tiled walls and a shining jukebox placed in a corner.

And as we waited, Jackson told us that he had spent a month of the previous summer break in Germany and that he has been learning German for four years already, so we continued the conversation while switching between German and English. I found that he is indeed fluid in German and doesn’t have much of a harsh American accent. Because he could understand everything that we said in German, I realized that Carlotta and I had previously been using German as a sort of secret language only we could understand to exchange information or thoughts that we would rather not share with everyone else present.

As we talked about our individual experiences in foreign countries, we came to a mutual understanding of the differences between Germany and the USA.

As it mainly concerns us teenagers, we talked about the fact that one is already allowed to drive at the age of 16 but may not drink until turning 21 in America and how, in contrast to the American law, the German law states that teenagers are allowed to drink specific alcoholic beverages at 16 but are not allowed to drive until they are 18 years old. We thought that it was interesting how the two states have such different priorities concerning their youth’s safety.

Furthermore, Carlotta and I also noticed that we are extremely dependent on our host parents to drive us around, since there is no public transportation outside of the bigger cities and the distance is usually too far to walk. However, this does not seem like a relevant issue to most American teenagers because most of them drive by themselves as soon as they turn 16.

Another thing that we noticed while comparing Jackson´s and our experiences is how Germans usually seem more reserved when talking to strangers and how a lot of Americans seem very outgoing and excessively friendly. This became particularly obvious to me when people addressed me as: “Hun”, “Honey” or “babe”. These nicknames felt very strange.

By the time our food finally arrived it was 12:40 am and we shared hashbrowns, waffles, toast, and eggs. When we finally wanted to pay, we realized that the waiters don’t earn nearly enough money for how stressful their job is and that they are dependent on tips, because the American system is just very different than the German one. Because of that we decided to tip 20%, even though we were waiting for a very long time. Finally, Jackson dropped us off at our host families house and we went straight to bed.

Everyone was extremely tired after the homecoming dance, so we got up around noon when lunch was ready. Our host mom had prepared a so called “Shepherd’s Pie”, which consists of baked lentils, vegetables, mashed potatoes, and cheese. She had also baked a truly delicious banana bread, which tasted more like cake than bread. For the rest of the day, we were just playing video games and hanging out with the family, because everyone was very sleepy.


Viktoria Bekker

Hey everybody, 

today is Monday. First day of our second week in Georgia. Our first week of visiting Cherokee Bluff High School is over and a new week has begun. Now we are already used to our timetable and know the school building pretty well. I am not getting lost in the hallways anymore 😉 The American high schools have names for each grade. The 9th grade are freshmen, the 10th grade are sophomores, the 11th grade are juniors and the 12th grade are seniors. Johanna and I are juniors. 

Our host sister Kamryn has the opportunity to do “work-based learning”. This is a chance for students to get work experience while going to school. Therefore, Kamryn only has 5 periods and works after school at chick-fil-a. She recently upgraded as a manager. 

I think it is very intriguing how the whole school system is different. The school looks different, there are after school clubs that are school teams, some subjects are different, etc.. Along with the fact that the students get graded only on their school projects, quizzes and tests. Not on participation in class. One other thing is that the students are allowed to eat in class. Which was very unusual for me at first, but I thought I should take the opportunity to eat in class 😉

Our first period is healthcare, which is a super interesting subject. We do not have this subject in our school, unlike here where it is required to have it. It teaches you about the human body and also many different medical terms. When someone considers a medical career, this subject offers the needed basis for one’s future job! Our healthcare teacher is Mrs. Wilson and she is a very sweet lady. We even had a coffee and cookies period with her last Friday. 

She has a fridge in her classroom, where we left our packed lunch because we forgot to bring ice packs for the day.. 🙂

After healthcare we walk to our next classroom in which we have maths. I always heard rumours about how Americans have multiple choice math tests and how their topics in math are not that difficult. I indeed can say that those rumours are true. Kamryn showed me her math test and it was almost all multiple choice! As well as the topic that they were working on in class, it was a topic that we had some years ago. 

The math teacher explains the math problems in a very complicated way, so I always do it in a quicker and easier way and still get the right solution. 

Our next period would have been English, where we were reading and watching “the Crucible”. However, in today’s English period we had a junior meeting in the theatre. The high school has a THEATRE! I was so surprised to see that. There were so many chairs like a real cinema. The juniors were gathered to get some information about a brand that makes custom rings. It is supposed to connect the students with each other forever. Something that has a meaning for each and every one. I thought that was a very lovely idea and I am thinking about getting such a ring with a meaning. Sadly, the rings are getting delivered in December and we won’t we here anymore. 

Usually, our day would continue with government class then lunch and then finishing government class as the lunch time is divided into lunch A, B and C. We have our lunch usually at B time. Except today where we had first lunch and then government. The reason for this was a speaker visiting us. We were visited by the representative of the Georgia state house of district 29. He was there to inform us about his future plans and ideas, also explaining us the way his job works and why he does it. 

He was very kind and was open for any questions. I was very interested in his presentation as he presented himself in a confident way and explained everything very easily, so everyone could understand. 

Following, we had our last period, biology. The biology class writes a test tomorrow which is why we did only some repetition in class. Mr. Godfrey is a very funny and kind teacher. He loves to connect with his students, for example when he walked around and sat down at every table to talk to his students about their future profession. I think that was very sweet of him as he seemed very interested in his students’ interests. 

In America one is allowed to drive a car at the age of 16, which leads to Kam driving a car. An additional unusual and different thing. This means that we drive to school and back from school by ourselves. 

After school we drove through a drive through at Sonic’s where we got our real lunch and had some food that took our hunger away 🙂  

The most important part of the day is a good afternoon nap, which we almost take every day XD

After a good nap Kamryn drove to work. While she started her work Johanna and I went over to the few famous shops that are close to Chick-fil-A. One of the most famous American stores is Target. I am sad that we do not have it in Germany. One can find anything one needs at Target!! I bought some American candy for my friends and family that I for sure know one can’t find in Germany. 

After some shopping we walked over to Kam’s work and waited for her to finish. We as well grabbed some snack while we were already there. Kamryn recommended her favourite snack which was a brownie with ice cream on top. It was really good! I recommend trying it 😉

After a long day we all watched the movie Mean Girls and got ready for bed. 

I have met so many people and have already seen so many things, I can’t wait for tomorrow and for what awaits me this next week! 🙂


Steffen Teigelack

I have just returned from a wonderful evening at the magnificent Halle Estate to which the board members of the Halle Foundation, Marshall Sanders and Anthony Pellingra, have invited everyone involved in THG’s Atlanta program.

Erik and I were able to address a few words to all the host families, students, corporate partners, teachers and friends to express our appreciation for what they did for the program. I’m sure Claus Halle would have loved to see all these young Germans here in his estate who profit from his generosity and commitment to German-American relations.

We would like to especially thank the Halle Foundation for their continuing support of our program and providing it with generous grants without which we wouldn’t be able to finance this endeavor. With their help we’re trying our best to keep the program alive, make it grow and flourish!


Hannah Xander

It’s Tuesday, another beautiful day in our second school week. Today I finally found my way to my classes. The hallways look so similar, and the school is so big, you easily get confused. I did it today.

But my normal day doesn’t start with the school bell. I wake up at 5:45. Well, my alarm is set for 5:45, I get up at around 6am. I share a bathroom with my host sister Brinleigh, so every morning we see each other being tired and looking like we haven’t slept in weeks. This morning, we weren’t as tired as the other days. After getting ready for school, I went downstairs and the first thing I did was saying good morning to their lovely, cute dog Holly. She is an old lady but still fit and often in the garden to run up and down. I opened the backdoor for her so she could go outside. After that I have a small breakfast, cereal, a very sweet but really delicious breakfast. Eventually Brinleigh came downstairs and Natalia, my other host sister joined us as well. Normally Danny, my host dad, would come downstairs at about 6:40 and drive to work. This morning, however, he stayed in bed because he is sick. I hope he gets better soon.

At about 6:50 Natalia, Brinleigh and I made our way to the car. Natalia’s driving, and Brinleigh and I have a duel -shotgun duel- every morning for the front seat. If this is not known: the first one to call “shotgun” is allowed to sit in front. Brinleigh won this morning. At this time in the morning it is quite cold outside and it is also fresh in the car. After that, my day really starts. We drive about 15 minutes with loud music past the school and towards the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Because before school we go to a 40 minute seminary of the church. This morning we continued reading and talking about Isaiah. I’m not the most religious person, but I find these morning hours very interesting. It’s not just about God or Jesus, it’s about everyday things. We talked about our fears and desires and it’s always very entertaining. The boys and girls and the two teachers I have had so far are very nice and explain everything to me.

At 7:40 we meet Natalia outside. This morning we decided to have breakfast because Natalia hadn’t had breakfast yet. We then drove to McDonalds and got something to eat there and ate on the way to school.

School starts at 8:20 am. We were at school around 8:00 a.m. and sat down with our friends at a table and talked a bit there. When the bell rings, the rush of people in the corridors and the school day begins. I’m not going to explain all of the lessons again because that’s already been done enough, but I’ll list a few things that caught my eye.

1. My exchange student is very smart and really good at school and especially in math. She has not just one but 2 math courses a day, one of them at college level. In the math lessons I’ve had here so far, I’ve noticed that a few things are done a little differently here. That confused me a lot, but I tried to do my best.

2. In the third lesson we have German, not with a teacher, but online and Brinleigh actually managed to work 2 months ahead. We finished the entire semester today and no, I didn’t do everything for her.

3. The classes I look forward to the most are biology and band. In biology we are currently doing cell membrane and since we already had that in Germany, I can participate. It is very

exciting to learn all the technical terms in English.

 Band is great because I love music and playing it with other people. Unfortunately, I can’t play because I play the violin and not a wind instrument, but it’s still fun to sit there.

After the 7 classes, marching band practice is on Tuesdays. For those who don’t know the Marching Bands: This is the wind ensemble with percussionists who create the great atmosphere at football games and deliver a 13-minute show before or after or during competitions, where they march in rank and file and have an intricate choreo. Before that we have a 30-dminute break where we chill and have very funny conversations. I met so many new people there in the band, who are all so nice and open and always welcome me. I feel very comfortable in this environment. First of all, they tuned ana rehearsed in the band room. After that we went to the football field and they practiced their performance there. I find it very impressive how important each individual is for the performance.

After the rehearsal, Natalia picked us up and we went to eat. We were at Culver and ate burgers there. I’m really jealous of one thing, the refill system. You get a cup and can refill a drink as often as you want. We should introduce that in Germany. Later, we went to Goodwill and Dollartree, two shops with cheap things. There we bought some American sweets, which I absolutely had to try, said natalia and Brinleigh.

Before getting ready for bed we drove to a nearby neighborhood to see their Halloween decorations. Some of them were pretty spooky and I was impressed by the amount of decorations.

At home, Brinleigh worked a little on her project and on her homework while I spent some time in Natalia’s room. Brinleigh also came around at some point and we listened to music and talked. Just before we went to sleep, Jaime, my host mom, came and we said a prayer and read a passage from the bible. Jaime asked me today if I would like to say the prayer in German and they were very happy about that. Then we fell into bed at 10, tired. I really enjoy my time here and I’m so happy for my great, lovely, caring family. I met so many new people and mad so many new experiences I will never forget.


Carlotta Geiss

It is Wednesday, which means we have a bit more than half a week left here in Atlanta. Even though it was my twelfth day here, it was the second time, Estelle and I joined Bella’s brother Will, who’s a senior, on a typical day in his high school.

Will’s school day is way more chill than Bella’s. His first class, which is a pre-college English class, usually starts at 10:50 am. So, we can sleep about two hours longer, when we go with Will. We would have left the house at 10:20 am. However, the teacher wasn’t there today, because he had to accompany his children on a school conference, which he told us on Monday. So, I could have slept even longer till about 11 am, still I woke up around 9 am. At about 11:30 am I went upstairs to the kitchen, made myself lunch and grabbed two water bottles.

Some advice for the USA: Never drink out of the tap. Except if you like either the taste of chloride or choking on pool water. You should rather drink purified water from bottles. It still tastes like chloride, but it is not nearly as nasty.

We left at 12:30 pm, Will drove us, but after 3 minutes Will noticed he left his Air Pods at home, so we drove back to get them. We arrived at Flowery Branch high school about 12:50 pm. Will doesn’t go to Cherokee Bluff, because all his friends are at Flowery Branch. I’m glad we already had lunch at home, cause the school lunch doesn’t look particularly more appetizing than at Cherokee Bluff, which is why I normally always grab a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a package of Dorito’s.

We went to the chorus room and chatted with a few of Will’s friends, trying to imitate the southern accent with them, before class started. When class began, we sat down next to Angela, who is one of Will’s friends. They started with some warmups, after which they sang Silent Night. I have no musical talent whatsoever, so I’m probably not the best to judge, but it sounded pretty good to me.

Afterwards we went to art class, the teacher asked everybody what their favorite fall activity was. While doing so, she gave us something to draw.

The last class was economics, the teacher talked about monetary policy. She explained it through memes and a clip from Despicable Me, which I found pretty amusing.

After the last lesson we picked up Lias from Cherokee Bluff, who asked us if we wanted to hang out. Normally we would have picked up Bella as well, but she needed to take photos with her volleyball team.

One huge downside of living in the USA is that, outside of big cities, you always need to depend on a car to get anywhere. So, if you are not old enough to drive, you need someone to drive you literally everywhere, which is basically my experience here. This is probably why you can drive at a younger age than in Germany.

Luckily for Estelle and me our host parents Al and Amy are willing to drive us all the time, if they don’t have to work. Today they had to work till 6 pm, which is why we couldn’t come to the Halle Foundation event, this afternoon.

Still, they agreed to take Estelle, Lias and me to the mall today. After we all chilled downstairs, we left for The Mall of Georgia at about 6pm. It is a 30-minute-drive to get there.

We managed to get through the whole mall and even though we were in many cool stores, I decided to get a pair of Vans while Estelle and Lias settled for a corn dog from Oh K-Dog. We were picked up in front of the mall at 8:30 pm and drove Lias to his house. Once back home, Estelle and I went downstairs and straight to bed. As I laid in my bed, I thought to myself how fast the time has passed already and the great time I had here.


Steffen Teigelack

Today I went to Georgia Tech with a group of Erik Riemer’s students and attended Dr. Hyoun-A Joo’s German course. Our students gave their presentation on sustainability in Germany and at THG and engaged in a discussion with the class members on differences in implementing sustainable concepts like recycling and public transportation in the US and Germany.

Afterwards we got a campus tour and were able to take pictures at some cool spots, like a roof terrace overlooking parts of the campus, a student invention studio and a famous staircase where parts of the movie “the internship” were filmed.


Cosima Schulte

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it
stands, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Most of you guys will probably not recognise these words, but American students learn them since
kindergarten: the Pledge of Allegiance. Every morning before class begins, they have to stand up,
turn to the flag – they have one Star-Spangled Banner in every classroom and one in front of the
school – and say these words with their right hand on their heart. Henri told me that in his class
most students do not stand up to say the Pledge because the government does not support the
LQBTQIA+-community. In my class, everybody stands up, but not everyone says the Pledge. I asked
one student who does not say the Pledge and she told me that she does not support the
First period is Biology. As my exchange student Anna Kate is in 10th grade, I am able to help her
with her assignments. The current topic is structure of the cell, in particular the cell membrane.
Today we get time to prepare for a mini-test tomorrow. I am still unsure about whether or not I am
going to take that test because content-wise it would not be a problem, but tomorrow is Friday
and our last day, so I might not get my grade.
Next period is American Literature. One might wonder: American Literature – does that mean they
have other literature as well? Yes, indeed, they do. The school offers BritLit (British Literature) and
World Literature. The current topic in American Literature is The Crucible by Arthur Miller which
tells the story of the Salem witch trials. Today, the students have time to work on their essays on a
current topic that relates to a theme in The Crucible. They can choose that topic themselves. One
example is bias conservative ideology in politics.
After American Literature we go to an online classroom. That just means we go to a classroom with
tables and chairs and a teacher at the front desk who checks attendance in the beginning and then
everyone gets to work on his or her online tasks. Anna Kate has her German classes online because
her teacher somehow disappeared and is not coming back. Other students take online Chinese
classes or Engineering, you can do pretty much every class online you want. And online class does
not mean Zoom conferences or anything similar, it just means that the students have to do tasks
they find on Canvas (the American Moodle).
Now it is time for my favourite subject of the day: Lunch. Today’s menu is tender chicken with
mashed potatoes. We always sit at the same table with Anna Kate’s friends, among others with
Hannah and her exchange student Brinleigh. I honestly have to say that I really like the cafeteria
food because it is always different and I got to try many different dishes like nachos, cheesy bites
and American pizza (which is more like a baguette with an insame amount of cheese). Some
students also bring their own lunch bags. After finishing our food, Hannah and I go visit the two
other German exchange student that are in our lunch group, Hennes and Henri.
Next up is Art. The students get a project in the beginning of the lesson and then time to work on
it. The project of this class is surrealistic collages. Henri and his exchange student are in that class
as well, so Henri and I usually talk and do stuff for our dear teachers in Germany.
My favourite real subject is Band. The teacher, Mister Cantrell, is very nice and told Anna Kate that
I could bring my flute and play with them in Band before I got here. The pieces are different to the
ones we play in our school orchestra in Germany, they are much more difficult and the sheer
number of different pieces of music is insane. Playing with them is so much fun and something
that I personally think is very cool is that the flute right next to me, Julia, does not only play flute,
but also piccolo and piano. It is like that with many Band kids and a great percentage of them is
self-taught since taking professional instrument classes is at least twice as expensive as in
Germany. Another difference between our THG orchestra and CBHS Band is the fact that we have
strings, like violin and guitar and piano players. CBHS Band is only winds and percussionists.
In Math, I watch the German news because it is 2 pm and with the time difference it is 8 pm in
Germany already. Their current topic is something different to what we do in Germany, which is
why I am not able to participate. The teacher Mister Rothschild sometimes puts on some music
while the students work on their tasks, and once he put on 99 Luftballons by Nena.
Last class of the day is US History. Other History classes you can choose are European History and
World History. I just realized that our History classes in Germany are only European History. CBHS
students have a greater variety of classes they may choose from, but they only have seven
different subjects and those every day.
After finishing normal school classes, Anna Kate and I go help a friend of hers take down the
American flag in front of the school. They do it to get extra credits. Other students put it up every
morning to get their extra credit.
Marching Band practice usually takes place on the field, where they actually march, but today we
stay inside and go through all the pieces they play. They have short ones to play after every Down
and long ones for quarter breaks. You might actually know some of them: Bad Guy (Billie Eilish),
Blinding Lights (Ellie Goulding) and Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book) are just some examples. I
really enjoy playing with them because there is some kind of magic in playing with like-minded
people that is impossible to describe, especially if you have quite the dominant percussionists as
we do.
Two and a half hours later, Anna Kate’s Dad picks us up and we stop at home to drop off our school
bags. Then we go to Target, which is a huuuge store where you can get literally anything between
clothes and groceries, to buy some books we saw the last time we were there. We left that store
with eight books in total…
As soon as we get home, we have soup for dinner. Anna Kate’s Mum cooked it herself, it is with
broccoli, chicken and cheddar. What might sound extraordinary is so delicious!!
To end the evening we do s’Mores, which is pretty much just a sandwich made of biscuits with
chocolate and roasted marshmallows. According to Anna Kate, there are two kinds of people when
it comes to doing your marshmallow: the ones who barely roast it and the ones who set it on fire.
Anna Kate and later me belong to the latter party…trust me, it might sound scary and even crazy
but it was so good that I ate four complete s’Mores!
Summing it up, going to America was and still is a great oppourtunity to learn about the cultural
differences that can be gigantic, even when you compare two Western countries like Germany and
the USA.

Atlanta Blog 2019

Hello and welcome to the Atlanta blog of 2019!
After a break that felt much too long Mr. Riemer and I are glad to be able to have taken another group of 20 students to Atlanta to immerse in the American way of life.
In the coming two weeks the tenth graders that attend Cherokee Bluff High School in Flowery Branch (nearby Gainesville) are going to blog about their daily routines and experiences to provide insight into the life of an exchange student.
But before the actual blogging starts, here are some impressions from the senior students spending their Sunday at an Atlanta United soccer game.
Best regards
Steffen Teigelack


After the long flight from Germany to Atlanta taking 10 hours, we eventually arrived at the huge airport. With a yellow school bus we drove to the Cherokee Bluff High School and were warmly welcomed by our host families and our exchange students. They even arranged sandwiches and a cake for us, but we weren’t really hungry as we got plenty of food on the plane.
Our exchange partners gave us a tour through the school and we were quite impressed by their gym and the football field outside.
Cade is my exchange student and he suggested to go to the movies and see the new Joker film. So we picked up Cedric, who only lives a few streets away, and went to the nearby cinema. It was great fun, but we were really tired afterwards because of the jetlag.
My exchange student and his family are very friendly and hospitable as well as also open-minded towards other cultures providing the opportunity for exchanging about our lives.

In the morning of the next day, Cade would normally have gone to church and I would have accompanied him, but we were both really tired and we decided to go the next week. I woke up pretty early in the morning and his mother already had finished making breakfast. I ate so called biscuits with scrambled eggs and toast with delicious jam.
I talked to Cade’s parents Victoria and Jamie and they told me that they actually have had an exchange student from Hamburg for a whole year and how she is still a huge part in their life.
When Cade got up, he showed me the back of their house, where a little river can be found and
together with his mother we drove around the streets, as they wanted to show me their subdivision and the area surrounding their home. I was pretty amazed that many of those subdivisions have a pool or a golf field in their centre. In addition each property has a beautiful flat wooden house with a small terrace on it with short brownish grass in front of it. Walking through those streets you can feel the American flair, especially because of the typical houses and the warm and dry weather.

In the afternoon Cade’s sister showed up together with two friends. Usually she studies and is at university which is about two hours away, but she wanted to meet me and all together we talked about school and university in the USA and the differences to Germany and other interesting topics. It was really interesting getting to know my exchange family better and learning more about life in America. For instance, I was impressed how serious they take the sport of their school’s clubs, but I also didn’t know how many people are Christians and regularly go to church. Talking to them and expressing oneself was no problem, but sometimes I was missing a special term, so I would paraphrase it and they’d try to help me saying it.

In the evening we met with Cedric and his host family as well as with David and went to a Mexican restaurant together. There we ate a nice quesadilla with steak and black beans in it. Although the portions were enormous we managed to eat all of it and had a great time together playing “Taboo”. This is a game where you have to explain an expression without using particular words that would describe it and the others have to guess it.

Afterwards we went to the home of Cedric’s host family and as their son is staying in Florida till Wednesday, Cade taught us how to drive their golf cart. It was a lot of fun driving through the streets and we even were able to drive on our own, experiencing how it must be being allowed to drive a car with 16. Then we played some video games together and went back home and to bed.

Overall I would say that all Americans I met so far were very hospitable and interested in our life in Germany. They enjoyed talking with us and were very courteous. Moreover, they are really relaxed and not as strict as some Germans are.

Noel Rusch


Immediately after getting up, Victoria drove me to the house where Cedric is staying, because she and her husband both had to work. They are real estate brokers selling houses and properties in the area.
Cedric‘s host mother Paige prepared a delicious typical breakfast with biscuits, pancakes and bacon as well as banana bread. While eating we talked to her and the grandmother of Cedric’s exchange student Caled, called Grandjudi, about the stores where we were about to head to. They were very kind and hospitable just as my host family is and Grandjudi told us that she has been a teacher at a nearby school.
First off we drove to the house of David’s host family and picked him up. The family invited us all to have dinner with them in the evening and said we could go in their pool. In general Americans are very flexible and like to make spontaneous plans for the day. They also enjoy spending time with other families and doing something together.

We drove about 45 minutes to the outlet stores and saw prisoners doing community service on our way through the streets. We passed a huge man-made lake and the Zeilers told us that it is often used for recreation and they have a motorboat themselves with which they like to drive on it. They said that they want to take us there and use the boat next weekend if possible.
Arriving at the stores we were surprised that the outlet is a complex consisting of rows of stores and
has outdoor areas you have to use in order to get to another store.
First we went to Nike and already saw some clothing and even shoes that we did like. However we did not buy anything yet as we were quite uncertain and wanted to see the other shops first.
So we made our way to Puma and were a little disappointed by their few non-sports clothing.
As Cedric was asked by his sister to get some things for her, we went to a shop with all kinds of fragrances and needed some time as well as the help of the staff to find what we were looking for.
We had to call Paige and Grandjudi to say that we needed more time and headed to the Converse store. David and I got two t-shirts with nice prints on them and we went to Adidas, but just as at Puma we didn’t find anything. In the end we were a little bit in a hurry getting the things we saw from the Nike store, but we just made it on time, having bought pullovers and a pair of shoes.

We went to “Chick-fil-A” which the Americans love and Paige and Grandjudi consulted us about what we could eat and gave us tips about what tastes good.
Eventually, I ate a very delicious chicken burger with special dips and a self-made lemonade.
We enjoyed the meal and we were told that the first diner was opened in Atlanta and
that they have closed on Sundays as many people in the South as well as the owner are religious.
Furthermore they offer students who are working there to help them paying for university.

Afterwards we went to a huge Walmart to get some basic stuff and finally arrived at the national park. We parked close to a waterfall and made some pictures in front of it, then we walked up a lot of stairs till we were on the top of the hill where you really had a great view.

After we had driven back home, we got the golf cart from the Zeilers’ home and drove around the neighborhood. We all got our swimming trunks and a towel and drove to the host family of David.
They have a large house with a cinema and pool as well as a hot tube and their own basketball pitch.
David’s exchange student Thomas DeGoey had two friends visiting him and we all played Fifa together.
After the match we went into the pool and played basketball in it until it got pretty cold and we went into the hot tub. His mother had prepared some food and we all ate together talking about sports, travelling and a lot of other things.
We also tried to teach them some German which was funny as no one except from Cade could speak a little bit and they struggled with the pronunciation.
It became late and so we headed back home, having to drive quite a while.

Noel Rusch


Hey guys 🙂 ,
I want to tell you about this day, it is October 8th 2019. I and Callie woke up at 10:30 am. First we had breakfast together and we ate toast with strawberry jelly and some yoghurt. After that we took the car and rode it to the Cherokee Bluff Park and went into the woods. We wanted to go into the cabin but it was locked. The park is named by the Bluffs and by the Indian tribe they called “Cherokee”. We made some pictures in the woods and at the rocks together. After this we took the car to the Flowery Branch High school and I was learning that Cherokee Bluff high school is a very new school and the Flowery Branch high school was a middle school before and they split the school and built a new school which is called “Cherokee Bluff High school” and made the old Flowery Branch High School to a new high school. So after we visited Flowery Branch High School we drove to the Cherokee Bluff high school, which Callie, my exchange student goes to. I really like the school because they have big American football fields, tennis fields. I wasn’t in the school this day but on the welcoming day when our hostbparents picked us up I saw the gym and the gym is really huge and awesome.
Next we drove to a big beautiful lake and made some pictures too. In the lake there was a small island. The weather was perfect and it was 69°F, which equals 21°C. It was not too hot. My host family showed me Gainesville downtown and Flowery Branch downtown. So in Flowery Branch I saw a new police station. It was a very large building. Then we went to Frozen Yoghurt and met Garrett, Max and Mathias. Callie ate a frozen yogurt with cake butter and sugar cookie. I ate frozen yoghurt too with pineapple and snow vanilla. Afterwards we went to a store and we bought some stuff for the pool party. The pool party started at 6:30 pm at the Wayne‘s house where Max and Mathias stay as exchange students. We met every host family and everybody got to know each other. We had a cook out and a party and ate lots of food and dessert.
My host family is really neat, polite and nice to me and we really got along fast. They told me that they understand everything I say and I am understanding them well too.

Larissa Fiona Senkel


Mr. Riemer and I had an interesting afternoon at Georgia Tech today. The School of Modern Languages hosted a German Day to which several speakers (students, teachers and advisors) were invited to share their experience of learning and teaching German at GT. The university‘s LBAT program is all about German studies and the cooperation with German universities and companies where GT students spend a semester abroad and do internships.
We were also able to listen to Ferdinand Seefried, Austrian consul in Atlanta and we met Nicolette Gahleitner, who is the German language advisor for many southeastern states in the USA. She provided us with valuable contacts in the Atlanta area. What a great day for networking!

Steffen Teigelack


My fifth day in America started with the sound of my alarm at 7:30am. After standing up and packing my backpack I went down the stairs. At 8:00 am I had my morning coffee and I talked with Mrs. Paige, my host mother, about what we are going to do in the following days and how a normal school day looks like in America.
When my coffee was empty Noel knocked on the front door of the house where I am staying, because on this day we and all the other students of the 10th grade from Germany planned to visit “The world of Coca Cola”. The world of Coca Cola is a museum about the history of Coca Cola in downtown Atlanta, but before we went to the museum we ate breakfast at a local junk food restaurant called Chick-Fil-A.
After we finished breakfast we drove to CBHS, it’s the short form for the school‘s name. When we realized that everybody was at the school, we started driving to downtown Atlanta. The drive took about 45 minutes. The museum was divided into different sections, the first one was about the ads of Coca Cola, but the ads were from all over the world. For example, another section was about the taste of Coca Cola products from all over the world. They tasted all different, but some tastes were just disgusting.
I can’t remember the exact time when the visit in the museum was over, but after all this interesting stuff we learned about Coca Cola we were very hungry so we went to “The Varsity “. It is a typical American diner where you can get burgers, hot dogs, fries, onion rings and more food. I decided to take a cheeseburger and fries.
I drove home with Noel and then we decided to get a snack and after the snack we went playing tennis at the neighborhood‘s tennis field. In the evening Noel went home and then I went to bed early, because the next day is my first school day in America.
My first school day in America was on Thursday, I was excited to see if the school and the subjects are like in our school in Germany. I had to be ready for school at 7:50am, because the school started at 8:20am or 8:25am. The first subject was about the law, police stuff and criminal things. After the first period we had Language class, it’s like the German lessons in Germany. Third period was about science and chemistry. The next lesson was math that was the most interesting lesson of the day, because math is my favorite subject. After math, in the fifth period, we had a lunch break of 30 minutes. After eating our food we had to go to social studies, which is kind of a history lesson in Germany. My two last lessons were marketing and weight training. Weight training was the most boring subject of the day, because I didn’t bring sport clothes to America and so I just sat in the gym and waited for the end of the school day.
As a conclusion I would say that the CBHS is way bigger than THG and more modern, but the classes in THG are more interesting and in Germany we have more breaks than in CBHS.
But all in all my first school day in America was very cool, interesting and funny.

Cedric Liedtke


Let me tell you about my second school day at Cherokee Bluff High School.
After settling in for a few days at my host home it was time to experience the life of an American high school student. The first bell rings at 8:25 a.m., so we left our home at eight o’clock and drove to school. Comparatively, American and German high school is vastly different. For example the schedules. Here they have the same schedule every day, unlike Germany where it’s always different. I participated in all of my exchange student‘s classes, which were junior year level classes. For the majority of the time I could participate in her classes, but in some I wasn’t able to participate because of the activities. For example essays they had to do.
In first period we had American literature. They took a quiz over a movie which they had recently watched. Second period was German, therefore it was very entertaining and easy. They presented their presentations about the Oktoberfest.
Following that we had AP Literature. In fourth period my exchange student and I had Physics. They received a previously written test, and the teacher taught us about velocity and acceleration. Following that we had Pre-Calc., which is also a difference between Germany and America because they have different classes for different math content.
After math it was time for lunch. Every other grade except for seniors can’t leave school for lunch, so the students have to eat at the cafeteria. Lunch lasts for about 30 minutes and they offer quite a diversity in their food. For example vegetarian, vegan and “regular “ food. We chose rice with chicken, which was quite good especially for school food.
Following lunch my exchange student Ruthie and I went to AP U.S. History. We learned about the “area of the good feelings “ which was a time period from 1812-1825. The last period was math again, but this time statistics. The teacher just introduced this new topic to the students and they talked about preparing presentations for it. School ends at 3:35 so we got home at around 3:50.

In general you can say that everybody here is very polite, open-minded and friendly. Especially the teachers. Most of them try their best to include us and help us with problems like the language barrier.
As I previously mentioned the American school system is very different to the German one.
The biggest difference is the grading system. They use different numbers to grade because they grade out of hundred. A certain letter is assigned to a group of numbers, which shows you how good of a grade you got. For example 90 and up is an A, which is the highest. 70 or lower is an F, which is an failing grade.
Another difference is that the teachers don’t include participation as part of the grade. You are not required to pay attention, which can lead to people failing a class. Therefore the atmosphere in the classes is more laid back than in Germany, which can lead to people for example napping during class or going on their phones a lot.
Another thing that caught my eye was the school spirit! The school offers a huge selection of merchandise and many people love to wear that to support the school. For example on game days the cheerleaders wear their uniforms and the football players wear matching shirts.

After we arrived at home my host family and I enjoyed our free time together. We talked a lot about the differences between our two countries especially focusing on the different lifestyles. I also tried to teach them some German, which was really funny because they struggled with the pronunciation.
Later that night we went to the movies. We watched the movie “Joker”, which is about how the Joker became who he is today.
The movie theaters are quite similar to the ones in Germany, the only differences are the snacks. For example the popcorn in Germany is usually sweet, while here it’s normally salty.

My host family is very kind and friendly and I felt very welcomed from the moment I met them. They really try their best to give me an amazing time here and I am really happy to be here. Ruthie and I get along really well and we always have a great time together.

I am really glad that I am participating in this exchange, because it gives you the opportunity to meet new great people and it’s really interesting to get to know the differences between Germany and the USA.

Louisa Schrief


Hey guys (whoever is reading this blog :D),
this is a review of the 8th day, 12th October, of our stay in Georgia but this is a special edition of this travel blog on our school websitee because a huge part of this day did not take place in Flowery Branch, the place where my hostfamily is living and where the ´Cherokee Bluff High School´ is located, not in Atlanta and not even in Georgia. We spent a few hours of this Saturday in Birmingham in Alabama.
Let´s start at the beginning of this day:
I stood up at… no wait I´m not going to start like this.
A few days ago the father of our host family told Max and me to ask our parents if we would be allowed to join him and his son Garret on their flight to Birmingham. He wanted to go there with his own small plane to bring his son to his soccer match. Max and my parents accepted and so we went to Gainesville ´´airport´´, got everything ready for the flight and started at 11 o´clock and arrived in Birmingham at 11:25 but the flight did not just take 25 minutes. The local time is just different in Alabama, Alabama is one hour behind Georgia and in total 7 hours behind central European time.
When we arrived at Birmingham airport we rented a car to get to the soccer pitch. After we had to wait around an hour for the game to start it began at 1 p.m. but Garret‘s team was off by 2 goals at halftime (0:2). As the second half started his team got better and better and managed to score 2 goals to equalise (2:2). Alabama FC, the opponent team, scored again but Garret‘s team worked hard on the pitch to start another comeback and to score again. So the final score was 3:3.
After the game we went back to the airport and flew home and I was even allowed to fly the plane for a couple of minutes.
When we arrived back at Gainesville airport we drove the plane into the hangar and drove to the grandparents of the family for a typical southern dinner.
We had chicken, fried vegetables, squash and a lot of non fried vegetables like beans and carrots. The most of this dinner was really delicious like the chicken and the fried vegetables which had a special nameI fogot and which was really hard to pronounce but there were still things I really disliked, I really hated the squash and the desert, a blueberry mixture with vanilla ice cream which was kind of too sweet like many things in the USA, for example the sweet tea which is also typical for southern states.
This evening was supposed to be hard because we were told that the grandparents are speaking a thick southern accent but even that was actually no problem to understand them. It was a bit harder than understanding our hostfamily who are speaking a very clear English without any accent. Speaking and understanding English has been absolutely no problem yet and everybody tells us how good our English is and that they are really suprised that the kids in Germany start to learn English so early and so long.
I am really glad and happy that I have the chance to take part in this exchange because it gives me the opportunity to meet new people, a new culture and to get many new impressions which I will remember for all my life.

Mathias Künne


I have been in Georgia for over a week already but it only feels like a few days. I love my host family and especially my exchange student Sydney. I really like the typical American life and I come along very easily. So on the 8th day in Georgia for me I got up at 8.30. I got myself ready and had breakfast. At 9.30 we left the house and went to church. The church is about 30 min away with the car. As we arrived in the building where it takes place we were welcomed by some people and we went into the room where church is on. In America it is a lot different than in Germany. They have a band that plays during it and all in all it’s a lot more casual than ours in Germany. Also there are a lot more people that go to church. And for me it was so much fun and it was really interesting to see how different church can be. So when church was over we went to a Halloween store to look for some accessories for next week‘s homecoming. The homecoming week is the week before homecoming and if you don’t know what homecoming is, it’s a really big deal for all Americans and it’s kind of like a formal dance and it takes place only once a year. And in the homecoming week every day there is like a different theme and everyone who wants can dress up every day in the week. After that we went back home and had lunch and then we took a break for about 2 hours. At 4 pm Sydney’s best friend Emma came over and we drove to church again but this church was only for kids that go to high school. On our way we picked up Sydney’s friend Timi. The ways here always take some time because everything is kind of very far away so we arrived at the church at 5 pm. It started at 5.15 pm and it was so much fun because we sang some songs and you got to meet a lot of new people. After church we drove to a Mexican restaurant and had some Mexican food. It was very delicious but it was too much for me and I couldn’t eat all of it. At 9.30 we were back home and we went to bed. I‘m very glad that I am here and that I have the chance to experience the life of an American student and to meet a lot of new people.

Jolina Hellwig


The first day of our second week in Atlanta started off pretty normally. I woke up at 7:00 am and got myself ready for school and ate breakfast, which consisted of orange juice, a bowl of cereal, a pop tart and a banana. We left our house at 8:00 am. Mathi, our exchange student Garrett and me got driven by his older sister Mackenzie, who already is a senior at Cherokee Bluff High. We arrived at school at 8:20 am. Today we would visit the lessons of Mackenzie in order to see the school day from the perspective of a senior. First period was Math, where we prepared for a test the other students would write about sinus and cosinus. The second period was legacy, where we mainly talked about preparing homecoming, which is a big tradition and event in American schools and takes place every single year. It is a huge event with a lot of sports and dressing up.
The third period was AP literature, which was a lot of fun, because the teacher was very nice and we mainly talked about the differences between American and German schools. The last period we would have with Mackenzie was Economy, where we talked about inflation and its causes. After that we switched to Garrett and went to his lessons again. The fifth period of today was chemistry. After that we had lunch, weight training and PE. We left school at 15:30 pm.
After school we mainly just relaxed and played ping pong, until at 19:00 pm a lot of people came over for X-Revival, which is a gathering of highschool students in Hall County. We talked about believing in God, having doubts about that, the life of Jesus and where Jesus stands in our life, which was a very Christian talk. After that we all went and ate at Zaxby’s, which is a place where you can get all kinds of chicken. I got a spicy chicken wings menu with fries. One thing I noticed while staying in the USA is that people eat out way more than we do in Germany and that they eat a lot more fast food. The group we went eating with was really funny and they were all really nice, so it a was a very good evening. After that we went home and I went to bed at 23:00 pm.
Overall the day was pretty good. I met a lot of new, very nice people and talked to a lot of them which was very good for practicing the language. I also learned a lot about American schools and their system, so it was a really good day.

Max Gericke


this is my blog about Tuesday, October 15.
Now I’ve been in Georgia for 11 days and so far I really like the typical American life.
Today I woke up at 6 o’clock like every day when we have school. We left the house at 7 am. We have to drive to school so early because both of my host parents are teachers at Cherokee Bluff High School.
At school we had a few minutes before we had to go to bible study. Belle and I just walked around a little bit in school and talked about the past days.

Normally school starts at 8.25 am but on Tuesday Belle has bible study before the real school day starts. So we had bible study from 7.45 to 8.20 am. We heard some prayers and talked about a story in the Bible. It was interesting and I really liked it.
Then our first lesson starts at 8.25, which is Forensics. I really love this subject, it’s about criminal investigation and its soooo interesting. After this we had Math, I already did the stuff in Germany which they did, so it was a little bit boring. After the lesson we had Legacy. This subject is also very interesting, they are reading a book about life. It deals with the topic how to live and who you are in the world. The next lesson was German and it is really interesting to see how people learn German and it sounds kind of cute when they speak German. After this we had yearbook. Yearbook is a very cool class. It’s a class with 20 students who write texts and make the design for the yearbook. The students in this class are all very friendly and very very funny. But today we sold homecoming tickets instead of writing something for the yearbook. This was cool because I saw a lot of different people from Cherokee Bluff Highschool.

Then we finally had lunch at 1.11 pm. We ate something at the school cafeteria. We ate together with Louisa, Rosa and their exchange students Ruthie and Hallie like everyday. The food was pretty good. But the lunch break is only for about 30 minutes. So we had to go back to class very quickly.

The last two lessons were American History and English Literature. But instead of English Literature in the 7th period we had a pep rally. At the pep rally all the students came together and met in the gym. The cheerleaders showed off some skills and the volleyball teams had a little game against each other. After about 1 hour it was over. The school did this because this week is homecoming week, which is a really funny week because everyday there is a different theme. The students and teachers can dress up for this theme if they want to. Today we had the theme Cowboy vs Aliens. The pep rally was really fun.
After this we went to Starbucks. But we had to be back at school quickly because Belle got invited to the “National Honor Society Induction Ceremony.” National Honor Society is a club based on scholarship, service, leadership, and character. It was a ceremony where the students were given certificates and promised to uphold the club’s pillars of scholarship, leadership, service, and character.
The last thing that we did today was a dinner at a typical Mexican restaurant. The food was so great there and I really liked it.
When we finally arrived home we just went to bed because we were all very tired.
In conclusion I can say that the today wasn’t a normal school day. Hoco time here in America is a very special and important time for the students. I love the American High School and I am so glad that I can have all these experiences.

Charlotte Klimbert


Today I visited Cherokee Bluff High School for an in-class Oktoberfest that Dr. Barton invited me and the exchange group to. Everybody enjoyed themselves having some Strudel, Stollen and Würstchen and listening to all kinds of German music. I was also able to peek into some of the classes my students take, e.g. weight lifting, and talk to Wes McGee, principal of CBHS, to talk about our ideas of strengthening our schools’ partnership.

Steffen Teigelack


Hey guys, this is a reflection on the events of 16th October.
I‘m staying in the same house as Noel and this Wednesday our exchange student had no school, however he still had wrestling workout in the morning. Noel and Cade woke up at 5:40 am and went there, while I slept longer and stayed at the house because I was too tired.
At around 12 o‘clock Cedric told us that he and his exchange student (Calep) could pick us up in 15 minutes to go to a gambling hall with arcade games, lasertag, bowling lanes and a bar. After getting ready we went with him and we also picked up three friends of Cedric‘s exchange student. Once we arrived there we played two rounds of lasertag, which is a game where you have to tag others with a laser gun, where everybody plays against each other. It was really cool and I managed to get second place. After that, we bought some soft drinks and sat down for around fifteen minutes. Immediately after the short rest, we went on to buy a card with credits on it for the gambling machines. I mostly played “Beat saber“, a VR game where you have to slash targets with two lightsabers, “Alien“, where you had to shoot approaching aliens with a hard plastic gun and a hunting game where I had to shoot prey like deer with a simulated gun.
As soon as we spent all of the credits on our cards we went to a shop where we spent the points we made for all kind of stuff and played a last round of lasertag, however one of Caleb‘s friends had to leave before the match.
Cedric’s exchange student and his two friends played against me, Cedric and Noel. We won with about 6000 points against 5000 points and I actually managed to be the best player in the match. Eventually we were driven back to our house. Noel and I where pretty hungry, as we had no lunch, so we and our exchange family went to a restaurant called Olive Garden. It is near a shopping mall we went to on Tuesday. Me and Noel ordered starters like soup and also pasta as the main food there. It was really delicious and we both were really full afterwards.
After arriving back home I relaxed in my room and went to bed at around 11pm because I was very tired. All in all it was a really exciting and eventful day!
The communication with the exchange students worked really well for me. There were basically no moments where I had to think of a word or where I didn’t know how to respond. It all went pretty fluent and without any major problems. In terms of culture I didn’t really spot any difference. The school is a lot bigger and also seemingly wealthier than our school, with everything like for example the gym being bigger. Also the school had a lot more security measures with cameras being located at school and also a sheriff.
The exchange families were all really nice and they tried everything to make the stay as enjoyable as possible so overall the exchange was a very enjoyable and fun experience!

David Schäfer


I was with Belle and her exchange student Charlotte today, so I could go to some different lessons and experience what else the school offered as lessons. The first period was with my host dad‘s lesson, it was funny because we did a game where you had to guess which animal or thing a person was, using only non verbal communication. The second lesson is normally math, but today it was the Oktoberfest where we ate Brezeln, a pudding which looked like beer, which is typical for the Oktoberfest. The third lesson, we had legacy, where we talked about what is important for the future and what we were looking forward to do when we get older. The 4th period was German, where we had once again the Oktoberfest. We ate Apfelstrudel, a noodle salad, and bratwurst with sauerkraut. After that we had yearbook where the people decorated the walls for Homecoming. After 5th period we had lunch. The school was nice enough to give us free food for our stay here. Today I ate fried chicken and a side salad. So far I have really enjoyed the school’s food. For 6th period, I had theater, where we worked on a project in which we created our own theater company. Then I had literature where the students had to write an essay. After that was the powder bluff game were the girls who won yesterday’s game played against the female teachers. The teachers won the game. After the game, the different sports teams and clubs had a parade where they threw sweets from decorated floats. Then we went to the bonfire. It was so big that the firefighters had to put it out. Then we concluded the day by eating at the huddle house where I ate a burger.
I love my host family a lot and I am sad to leave them in a few days. I am grateful that I get my own room and wake up to my host family’s dog giving me a bunch of kisses. I think that my vocabulary and English has improved quite a bit. I have really enjoyed getting to use my English with my host family and it’s fun to learn new words. I am glad to have had the chance to get an experience of the American way of life and the school system in America. In my opinion the school has a lot of subjects for every person, such as; theater, art, gym, welding, technology, criminal justice, yearbook, and a lot of more classes.

Rosa Krella

25 Jahre Grenoble-Austausch

WAZ Kettwig, 10. April 2014

 Deutsch-französische Freundschaft

Seit 25 Jahren gibt es den Austausch zwischen Schulen in Kettwig und Grenoble

Von Ian Walther

„Auch aus einer Kartoffel kann man sehr viel machen“, erklärte Dr. Michael Bonmann. Als Bezirksbürgermeister begrüßte er eine Gruppe französischer Lehrerinnen am Theodor-Heuss-Gymnasium. Zusammen mit 18 Schülern kommen sie vom Externat Notre-Dame in Grenoble und sind in dieser Woche in Kettwig zu Gast.
Eine der Lehrerinnen ist Odile Rivoire-Vicat. Sie ist auf französischer Seite für die Organisation zuständig. Ihr überreichte Bonmann das Kettwiger Kochbuch – mit Rezepten für Kartoffelgerichte.
Der Besuch ist Teil eines Austauschprogramms zwischen Deutschland und Frankreich. In diesem Jahr gibt es aber eine Besonderheit, denn die Beteiligten feiern ein Iubiläumz Seit 25 Iahren besteht nun die Freundschaft zwischen den Schulen in Kettwig und Grenoble. „Ich freue mich sehr über diese Partnerschaft“, erklärt Bonmann und verweist dabei auf die Beziehung der beiden Länder in der Vergangenheit: „Vor 100 Iahren waren wir Todfeinde – heute kann sich das keiner vorstellen.“
Herbert Zemke ist am THG Lehrer für Französisch und Philosophie. Er ist für die Planung des Austauschs zuständig und hat für die Gäste aus Frankreich ein Programm erstellt, damit die Woche in Deutschland auch spannend ist.
Am Freitag sind die Franzosen in Essen angekommen: „Das Wochenende verbringen die Schüler in den Gastfamilien, damit sie das Leben hier hautnah mitbekommen“, erklärt er. Anschließend standen Besuche im Essener Rathaus und dem Museum Folkwang auf dem Plan. Einer der Höhepunkte ist der Besuch im Dortmunder Westfalenstadion.
Der Austausch findet immer in der Iahrgangsstufe acht statt – ]oanna Schwabedissen und Clara Strathmann sind da eine Ausnahme. Denn beide nehmen nun zum zweiten Mal daran teil.
Ihnen hat ihr erster Besuch so gut gefallen, dass sie im Mai erneut nach Frankreich reisen: „Wir haben uns total gut mit unseren Austausch-Schülern verstanden und auch noch viel Kontakt mit ihnen über Facebook“, sagt Joanna.
Auch die französische Lehrerin Odile Rivoire-Vicat ist begeistert von dem Austauschprogramm. Sie begleitet das Projekt von Anfang an: „Es ist eine riesige Freude, erneut in Kettwig zu sein – deshalb komme ich auch immer wieder“, sagt Rivoire-Vicat.
Jedes Mal, wenn sie zu Besuch in Deutschland ist, wohnt sie bei Anne Fechter. Fechter war Vorsitzende der Schulpflegschaft am THG und hat 25 Mal französische Gäste bei sich aufgenommen. Nach all den Iahren ist sie zuversichtlich, dass es noch lange zu einem Austausch zwischen den zwei Schulen kommt: „Goldene Hochzeit feiern wir auch noch“.