Erlebnisberichte von Teilnehmern



Tina, die in Texas, USA, war

Arlington, Texas made my year!!!

I spent the school year 2006/2007 in the United States of America. I arrived there last year in
August and left that country in July of this year.

I decided to be a part of the exchange program, because I wanted to learn the language
English and I liked different cultures and wanted to get to know those. Of course, nothing
went the way it was supposed to go. First we were not sure, if we could manage it and then, if
I was accepted or not. Finally when everything turned out right, I was even happier and more
excited, than ever.

I actually had pretty good luck. First I got my host family pretty soon, after I turned in
my application form and then when I had to go get my visa, I did not have to stay in line so
long, like everybody had told me. Well, after one weekend of preparing for that big way to
America, I was ready to leave this country and make my way into another, foreign, so
different country of America.

The moment I got out of my airplane and saw my host family I can remember, that everything was huge. The airport was tremendous.
The people were bigger and the streets were wider. I was shocked. Everything was so different and so different like I thought.
I doubted, if my decision to be a foreign exchange student was the right one, or if I rather should have stayed at home with all my mends, who were suddenly so far away and my own family. Well, one reason was, that I was really tired, since from Germany to Texas is a time difference of 7 hours. And I think the other reason, why I was a little shocked and did not love the country by first sight was, that America had lost my suitcases and I had nothing to wear for a couple of days. When my host mom Traci had asked me if I was hungry, the only thing I could do, was nodding, because I was too tired and confused to talk one word. But I think it is very funny and I would like to share that with you. I remember the first question I asked my
host parents, when we were sitting in the car on the way to IHOP, an American restaurant with the world best pancakes. I asked them, what kind of trees that were, I was seeing on the side of the streets. I don't even remember what they answered. Like I said it was very hard for me to get into the American way of life. Maybe I was too shocked on the first day, that I did not want to get along with it at first. But my host parents tried everything to cheer me up. They drove with me to a water park, and we went to the movies and out to dinner and really I do not know, what else. But I just could not be happy. But then I told myself how stupid I am to not try to be a little happier. So from that day on, everything was better and I saw the United States with different eyes.

I didn't like the first couple of days, because nobody really talked to me. But I had
luck and played the flute, so that I could be in the Marching band. I know it sounds very
nerdy, when I tell you, that I was in the marching band, but believe me or not, that made my
year the best year of my entire life. I would like to give you an advice at that point. Try to get
into as much school activities as you can, because that is the best way of making friends for
life. Yeah marching season came and I loved it. I had football games, where I had to march in
and after that I most likely went to go out to dinner with some mends. I can say, I loved it and
if I had the chance to do that part again, I definitely would.
After that the concert season started and it became a little more boring, but it was still
amazing. In my host family had happened at that point a tragedy. My host grandmother had
died and I did not have the chance to meet her. She died the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and
so went to Alabama for that weekend, not only to celebrate Thanksgiving but also to go to a
funeral. I actually felt pretty bad, because I did not know over half of the family, I did not
know my dead grand mother and the worst of all, I saw my family sad and I could not cheer
them up. But how do you say it? - What does not kill you makes you stronger. And that was
the way it happened. I started to have a better relationship with my host family and I was
happy about that.

For my birthday my host dad had asked me what I wanted to do and I decided to go to
an Italian restaurant. There I got a chocolate cake from the owner of the restaurant and an
Italian opera singer sang "Happy birthday" for me in Italian. It was great, I loved it.

Christmas was very good and I like it better, because you are supposed to open the
presents on the 25th and not on the 24th.But the presents had been laying under the tree for a
couple of weeks.

In April I had the chance to fly to Florida with the band and it was the best experience
I have had in the whole year. I was in a room with my best friend from America, Aleasha, and
two other friends, and I love that. We went to Disney World and to Universal studios and it
was great. I had never seen anything like that before. It was amazing! Then when we
wanted to leave to go back home to Arlington, they closed the whole airport in Arlington,
because of Tornado warning. So we had no other choice than going back to our hotel and
spending another night in Florida. I think it was funny, because on that day, I had gotten my
first sunburn, and it was very hot. But in Texas it was raining very hard and a Tornado was
coming around. The only thing I can say about that is, that the American weather is crazy.
Well, okay, I also went to Arizona to a typical American wedding, where I got the
chance to see the Grand Canyon and then it was almost time for me to leave. But only almost
because then came the 4th of July and I had the chance to march in it.
On that day, I was so tired, because I had spent the night at Aleashas' and we did not
sleep. When we started everything started to come up, that I had to leave the wonderful,
beautiful country America in two days and that was the first time, where I almost started
crying, but only almost. I really tried not to cry, which was really not that easy if you can
imagine, but after the parade, it was out. I was bolding, and I did not stop crying for another
two hours. I just could not stop. It was just, I did not want to leave, but I wanted to see my
family again, but all my friends, and I was tired and hungry and it was hot. So I almost
collapsed. It was not even funny. Aleasha said we would go to lunch together and that I would
feel better. We did that and then after we had lunch and I was home again, I was feeling
better. Much better. I took a nap and went to bed pretty earlier. The next I took my host
family out to dinner and then they got their presents. It was just a relaxing day. Then Aleasha
came over and spent the night and we just had fun and laughed. When we went to the airport,
I could not cry. That was a good thing. But everybody else cried. After I had given my host
family and Aleasha the biggest hug ever, I looked them all one last time in the eyes and said:
"I will see you guys later!" Then I smiled, because in that moment I knew, it was not the last time I would see them I turned around and went to go check in. In the airplane I thought about everything and I just thought: America is a wonderful,
beautiful country, with very friendly and nice people and I am happy, that I had the
opportunity to get to know that. I know that I will stay in touch with the people I met there,
because I can not forget the people, who made my year the way it was.

I love America and my friends and know: I always will!


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