Liveblog – USA Austausch

Eine Gruppe von Schülerinnen und Schülern befindet sich gerade mit Frau Frohwitter und Herrn Goletz de Ruffray im Rahmen unserer Austauschprogramme in Illinois, USA. Ihre Erlebnisse werden hier in einem Blog geteilt, schauen Sie also gerne immer mal wieder vorbei!

New York and Goodbye to the USA

October 8th – In the morning everybody met in the hotel-lobby at 8:15 am to get the bus, wich took us to Staten Island Ferry. During the transfer to the ferry our guide told us something about New York and its history. From the ferry we had a great look to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Everybody took a lot of pictures. Afterwards we went to famous places on the way to the One World Trade Center, for example the Wall Street. Then everybody had time to lunch.

After that we visited the Memorial of 09/11. We went to the One World Trade Center and had a great view over New York from the One World Observatory. Our bus picked us up at the Entrance of the big skyscraper and we were driven to the airport. There we had to say goodbye to our great time in New York and the USA. Our flight to Amsterdam started at JFK-Airport at 6:30 pm and continued the next day at 10:45 am to Hamburg. When we arrived in Hamburg we were happy to see our families again and went home happily and thankful that we had experienced something so beautiful.

  • 19.10.19 Claudia

Trampoline and Kitchen Sink Ice Cream

This morning I slept in, because getting up so early during the week was very exhausting. Then we went to a restaurant with the others to eat breakfast. I ate some real American pancakes. Then we went to a huge flea market where we could find so many things. You could find everything you can imagine. From antiques to toys from the last century and from gears to spooky dolls.

Around 1 o’clock we went to EpicAir, a trampoline park. At 6:30 pm we drove to East School. There was a large buffet with turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, sweet potato and much dessert. At 7:30 we left and went to the Colonial Cafe with the family and ate the famous ”Kitchen Sink Ice Cream“. 6 balls of ice cream with bananas, sauce and cream in a kitchen sink. When we were done we drove to Salvatore’s house and watched some movies. When we were back home it was time to pack the final stuff and to say goodbye to everything 🙁 

  • 15.10.19 Johanna

The hardest goodbye 10/06/19

Today was the last day and we had to say good bye. Goodbye to our new friends and the wonderful time we had. In the morning some from the Exchange met at „IHOP“. It’s a breakfast restaurant and we spent the last time together. After the breakfast was already time to leave. I packed my last stuff and went with my host family to the airport.

The goodbye was really hard. We had such a wonderful and awesome time in Chicago that we won’t forget. We had to say goodbye for a long time. Many tears. I’m happy I could make all these friendships and experiences! We arrived the Airport in New York at 18:15pm. We took the subway to Manhattan and put our whole stuff in our hotel room. We could see and hear that New York is really the city which never sleeps. After arriving we went to „Chipotle“ a Mexican fast food restaurant. The sad day ended with a nice start in New York.

  • 15.10.19 Clara Faupel 

Monday the 7th of October,

A special day began. It was my birthday but also our first day in New York. We got up early to start our sightseeing trip. Firstly we went to Ihop, a 7/24 diner (always open), where we had breakfast. Later on we started a hop-on hop-off tour through Manhattan. The bus stopped at all major attractions such as the Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, Chinatown or the Times Square. After traveling through New York with our teachers, we visited the city on our own. My friends and I took the bus and got out at Times Square.

It was insane, the street is placed with a lot of scoreboards and bright lights. Afterwards we went to a shopping street and to Chick-fil-A, a fast food restaurant. We took the food to go and we went to Brooklyn Bridge where New York’s skyline left us speechless. However It was time to get back to the hotel. Unfortunately It was too late to get on the bus, therefore we had a small adventure and took the subway. After we had the opportunity to relax in the hotel we started walking with our whole group to Times Square at 7 p.m. In comparison to day time, night time let New York look like a completely different city. Walking down the streets with beautiful lights and seeing the huge illuminated skyscrapers was indescribably beautiful.

  • 15.10.19 Nicole Bindek

Last School day (Friday, 4th of October)

Today was our last day at the High schools. Everybody was sad that we are leaving and sad because they are gonna miss us. After school my hostmom, hostdad, my two little hostsisters and their friends picked my exchange partner Aleksa and me up from school and we drove to Chicago. My family had got tickets for the blue man show in Chicago. Before we went to the theater we went to the Hard Rock cafe and ate dinner there.

Because of the traffic my hostparents decided to take the train to the theater and the Hard Rock Cafe. The public transportation in Chicago is similar to the one in Hamburg but not so modern. The trains have less seats and are more shaky. After the show we went back to our hotel and slept there for the night. It was also a special day because of the football game between the Saint Charles North and the Saint Charles East High School. Half of our group are North students and the other half are East students. So we were fighting against each other. Unfortunately my school, the North High school, lost the game.

  • 15.10.19 Lena Kopischke 

Schoolday (01st of October)

Today was a usual school day. When we went outside to go to the school bus it was very warm, humid and so foggy that we could only see about five meters. In school my exchange partner has some classes we don’t know in Germany, for example Oceanography or Adventure Education. In Adventure Education they learn how to survive in the wild. Today the teacher showed us how to purify water from a river so we can drink it. After that we cooked noodles with this water and ate them.

In the evening I went with my exchange partner and two of his friends to a college night in the Elgin Community College. This is a fair where many different colleges show what they offer. And because they are Seniors (12th grade) my exchange partner and his friends wanted to inform themselves and get some flyers. That was really interesting.

  • 15.10.19 Annik Lengefeldt

Naperville Settlement (October 3rd)

On this Thursday we only had school until third period. I had German class, Study Hall, where I just hang out with my friends and American Agenda. After third period we met in the Main Lobby and waited for the North kids to pick us up with the school bus, which would take us to Naperville. After we drove half an hour we were a little hungry and we went to a pizza place in Naperville.

We had the famous deep dish pizza from Chicago. But I must say that I like the normal pizza better. After that we went to the Naperville Settlement. The Naper Settlement is a kind of outdoor history museum that consists of a collection of thirty historical buildings and structures from the Naperville, Illinois area. We had a little tour and saw an old church and an old mansion from the 18th century. We also went to an old school and a nice lady showed us how the school used to be in the old days. 

After that we went to the blacksmith and he showed us how he works with iron and he made a little hook for us. Then we had a little bit time to walk around on our own. 

We had an hour left, so we went to the real city Naperville and had time to look at shops. When we got back home, my host partner picked me up at North High School. We went home and we carved pumpkins. I never did this before and it was fun. After that we made salted caramel brownies and watched a movie while we were eating. All in all I can say the day was a complete success. 

  • 15.10.19 Mary-Kate Kopp

Early Release Day 

Today’s school day was a little bit different to the other days. The special thing about this Wednesday is that it’s an early release day. That means the students are released from school one hour earlier. Teachers use the remainder of the time for professional training. When school ended we went to St. Charles Bowl and met the other students from the exchange. We bowled almost an hour and everybody had a lot of fun. After that I went to the Restaurant “Beef Shack” with 7 other people and ate delicious burgers and french fries. At the end of the day we went to Carly’s house, one of the Americans, watched movies in her basement and played billiard the whole evening. What a great way to end this Wednesday!

  • 09.10.19 Sören Kröger 

Weekend activities  (September 28, 2019)

We had no set plan on Saturday and the whole day to spend with our host families. At about 11 AM Estelle’s host family picked me up and we all went together to the Woodfield Mall. The Woodfield Mall is the largest shopping mall in the state of Illinois and one of the largest in the United States. It was a lot of fun especially because of the large variety of stores and restaurants. Afterwards my host family and I went to a music performance in which my exchange partner took part. Although it being cold and windy, it was interesting, I had a great time and everybody there was really welcoming and nice to me. At 6:30 PM some of the GAPP (German American Partnership Program) kids came over to a bonfire. We ate pizza, s’mores and other snacks. S’mores are a dessert made out of a chocolate bar and roasted marshmallows sandwiched between graham crackers.

  • 09.10.19 Mariella Martinović 

Feed my Starving Children (Monday, 30th of September)

Today was a regular school day with a lot interesting classes like Psychology and study hall where we meet a lot of nice people. After school we had some free time before all of us met at 5 pm at the East Highschool for our scheduled charity activity. From the school we drove with a school bus to the organization „Feed my starving children“. This is an organization that not only helps communities around the world, but brings local communities to together for an experience that is beneficial. They provide food for Third World Countries that is packed into boxes during the activity. When we got there we were informed with a video about the effects of mal-nutrition on communities around the world. Then they explained to us how to pack a food bag and about the hygiene rules. Then we washed our hands, and got started packing. Each person at each table had a job. Jobs were e.g. packing rice, soy, vegetables and vitamin powder, to weigh the bags or to seal the bags. My job was to put a cup of Soy in the bag. In the end we were packing bags for the Philippines and Burkina Faso for one and a half hours. Together, we all packed 121 boxes that means 26,786 of nutritious meals. Overall I loved going and volunteering at Feed My Starving Children, I hope to go again. 

  • 09.10.19 Julia Lichtenfeld 

Engineering and Astronomy

Wednesday, 9/25/2019: It was a very nice day! I woke up at 5.45 a.m. like every day here in the USA. First we drove to school by car and also picked up two other friends. Our school day here in Saint Charles starts every day at 7.20 a.m. and ends at 2.20 p.m. On this day I had Math, English, Politics, lunch, and the two new classes we do not have in Germany: Engineering and Astronomy. The engineering class is where you build structures by drawing. It is like the start of engineering. Additionally in third hour we had our German meeting like every day.

I also learned something about the school system and the timetables at Saint Charles North High School. The students are allowed to create their own school timetables. They don’t have any specified breaks, so they can decide if they wanna have a study hall or lunch but they do not have a break. A lot of students do not take lunch cause almost all students are allowed to eat, drink, go to the toilet or use their phones during the classes. There are also councilors at the school who help the students with their timetables.  In the afternoon I went with a few friends to the Oakbrook Mall here in Illinois. It was really cool cause there were so many cool shops. In general I can say it was an informative day and everyone had fun again. (Warning: this text features colloquial language)

  • 02.10.19 Antonela M.

Weekend Activities  (Sunday, 29th of September)

It was a rainy day. After we woke up we were tired from the day before when we had been at a roller coaster park. After we had breakfast we went to an apple farm. It was very muddy so we couldn´t go and pick apples. So we were in the farmstore where we got donuts and fudge. Next we drove home and met with a friend of my exchange partner, who is called Jake, to go to minigolf. When we got to the minigolf place, it was the last day they were open so all the ice cream was only 1 dollar. We got a lot of ice cream and then went home. There we had lunch and played X-Box.

  • 01.10.19 Connor-Cash Leonhard 

Visit to the mayor

Like every day we spent the morning with our exchange partners in school. In the first lesson I had German, in the second lesson I had PE. In the third lesson all the Germans met with Mrs Frohwitter and prepared questions for the forthcoming visit to the mayor. After that I had studyhall and lunch, where I met other Germans. We went together to a gym class, chemistry and oceanography. After school we went directly to the town hall.
Firstly the mayor introduced himself and asked many questions: about us, about differences between the lifestyle and culture in Germany and America.

After that we got the opportunity to ask him about his life, tasks or his opinion about various things. At the end we took a look at the inside of the tower of the town hall.
It was very interesting to get to know the mayor and learn more things about Saint Charles. After this visit I went together with other exchange students to a restaurant to eat something. Later we went to a few shops near the restaurant and spent the evening at Alex’s house with my friends and their exchange students.

  • 30.09.2019 Olivia Plotka

Journey to Saint Charles. (Wednesday, 18th of September)

Today we are going to Saint Charles and I’m so excited.  When I arrived at the airport at 8 in the morning, I got up to drop my luggage. After that, I tried to help some of the others who had problems.  As we went through the security check, my friends and I were waiting at our gate.  I sat alone on the flight, but a nice man let me change places with him, so I sat down at the window.  On the plane to Chicago I was sitting next to my friends and we saw some really good movies.  When we arrived, we had to pass the customs.  I imagined it would take longer and be more frightening, but it was good.  Liam’s mother, brother and Liam picked me up and we got mexican food from Chipotle. It was really good. After that I went to bed. 

  • 30.09.19 Sarah Zühlke

Homecoming Parade and Welcome Party (Friday, 20th of September)

Today was a great and busy day, first we went to school and my classes were study hall, lunch, german, culinary, math and physics. In culinary, we baked cookies, and the day before we made the dough and put it in the freezer. After school we went to a parade and since we were the German group, we walked with flags from Germany. It was the Homecoming Parade and the Saint Charles high school does it every year before the Homecoming dance. Families and friends gathered by the roadside and took pictures of all the parade.

There were many different groups of people and every group had a golf cart and on the day before everyone decorated their golf cart. When the parade was over we had free time to do whatever we wanted to, so a few people and me went to „Jamba Juice“ and had smoothies. At 6 o‘clock we had a welcome party at the Saint Charles North high school and we ate Hot Dogs and things like that. After that we ate cake. At 7 o‘clock the football game started and we all went to see our first American football game in real life. It was so cool and there were so many people. There was the band and the cheerleaders. It was a very cool and special day, everyone had fun and it was a new experience.  

  • 30.09.19 Julia Wiegel

Homecoming Dance and Sleepover (Saturday and Sunday, 21st and 22nd of September)

On Saturday we finally got to sleep in after waking up so early the past days. We spent most of the day preparing for the Homecoming dance. Some people also went to get lunch together.

At 3pm, we were meeting at a pavilion to take the Homecoming pictures, but just before we got there, it started raining. But everybody still got there and we took pictures. Afterwards we went to the Tokio Steakhouse, which was really entertaining, because the chef prepared the food right at the table. At 7pm, the Homecoming dance finally started, and everybody had a lot of fun. After the dance we went to Ben’s house to have a sleepover. We watched movies, played basketball and chatted. It was a fun day.  

  • 30.09.19 Vivian Vadersen

After the homecoming dance all Americans and Germans from the exchange program had a big sleepover at Ben’s house. His house is huge: they have a basketball court, an air hockey table and a little movie theater. In addition Ben’s parents provided us water to drink and so many snacks. Most of us were tired and exhausted after the dance so we ended up watching movies all night long. The movie theater was crowded so some people had to sleep on the ground. It was so much fun even though we barely got sleep. After 8 movies it finally started to get light outside. At 11 o’clock in the morning all parents came over and we had a barbecue (BBQ). There were burgers, Hot Dogs, fruits, salads and someone even brought a cake with our names on it. When everyone was done eating we all went home to get some more sleep because all we needed was to rest after this exhausting but exciting weekend. 

  • 30.09.19 Emily Tscheter

Scavenger Hunt in St. Charles (Thursday, 26th of September)

Today was a normal school day as usual. I think it’s a good idea that the students can choose which subjects they want to take, that way they can either focus on subjects they need to take for university or  in wich they are good at. My favourite subject in the School is AP Biology. What I noticed is that the teachers communicate more openly with the students, and that creates a great atmosphere in the classroom. After school we all went scavenger hunting. We started at a museum called St. Charles History Museum & The Curious Fox Gift Shop, in the museum we learned about the History of St. Charles. After that, we were separated into 6 groups and started the Hunting. We made our way through St. Charles and we were looking for the right answers to fill out our sheets. After the Scavenger hunting some of us went rollerskating in Batavia and some went shopping in Geneva.

  • 30.09.19 Estelle Mensah


On the tenth day of our exchange in the United States we visited ´the windy city´: Chicago (sadly on that day also ‚the rainy city‘). We took the train from Geneva, nearby St. Charles, early in the morning. That means we arrived at about 9 a.m. The first sight we visited was Millennium Park where we saw the most known sight in Chicago: the ´Cloud Gate´ or the ´bean´ as the locals call it, and took a lot of pictures. Afterwards we had some time to buy souveniers at the luxurious Michigan Avenue. The next planned activity was a boat-trip.

In the following one and a half hours we learned a lot about the architecture and history of Chicago’s skyscrapers and the city while we had a beautiful, yet rainy, view of the skyline. After a short lunch in a famous local tavern named ‚Billy Goat Tavern‘ we went to Willis Tower. It is the second highest building in the USA after One World Trade Center in New York. We concluded our trip to Chicago with a short walk on the glass floor of the sky-deck, 412 meters above the ground. We then took the train back to Geneva and our trip ended there at about 6pm.

  • 30.09.19 Richard Melle

Just another (first) day at school

On September 23rd I woke up at 6:30 am. My host Mom made breakfast for me like she does every day. She drove us to SCN (Saint Charles North Highschool – externer Link). The first lesson started at 7:21 am, I noticed that the lessons start at irregular times. One of the differences is that the American students work mostly with laptops, unlike us – we’re using exercise books instead. They have more freedom than we have, they can listen to music, text and even eat during many lessons. I need to get used to the fact that the breaks are pretty short, because you need to change the classroom for every lesson, it is pretty crowded when almost 2000 students change the classroom at the same time. But luckily we had a lesson called Study Hall, it is always at the library and you can study or do research on one of the computers. In the afternoon I went to Chicago with my host family; they showed me around the city.

  • 29.09.19 – Maria Prokić

Best cheeseburger ever

When I woke up in the morning, I was feeling great and good to go for my very first day in America. After a refreshening shower I came downstairs and ate a bowl of cereals. Then we were about to go to school. I was sitting in one of these yellow schoolbusses known from many films and TV-shows like Snoopy and the Simpsons. The school system is completely different from ours. They are having the same timetable every single day and by the way, the second class was drivers‘ class. Yes drivers‘ class. An American student learns how to drive while being in high school. Today we watched a video about car crashes. How they happen and how to avoid them. After school we were driving to portillos, a very good restaurant, with a total of four cars. I’ve got myself a bacon cheese burger with fries and a coke, well it tasted amazingly good and way better compared with burgers from the German McDonalds or even Burgerking. Then we drove over to Alex’s and Breanna’s house and played rainbowsix on their Xbox.In my opinion that was a great first day.

  • 29.09.19 – Finn Wilhelm