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Letter: Volksfest was an absolute blast

Another month has gone by already! I have been here for about two-and-a-half months, and time is just flying. I am so glad that I decided to be the exchange student. It has been such a great opportunity for me so far, and I am really enjoying Germany and the food!

I recently found out my next host family will be the Grüners. I will have a host mom, dad, and two sisters -- Ann-Kathrin (17) and Marie-Therese (15). I am good friends with Marie and am in her class at school. It is going to be very hard to leave the Wiesers, but I am looking forward to living with the Grüners!

School started on Sept. 14, and I am attending the Lise-Meitner-Gymnasium. School is difficult for me right now, since I am still learning German, but my German is improving every day. I have so many friends in school, and they all help me and make me feel right at home.

School is a bit different in Crailsheim, as I have different classes every day but the same class schedule all year long. School starts at 7:25 a.m., but depending on my schedule, the time varies when I get to go home, so it is more like a college schedule. The classes I am in are physics, German (what we call English in America), religion, politics, English (learning the language; not too hard!), math, geography, NWT (science), sports (phy. ed.), art, music, biology, history and chemistry. I think they are trying to make a scientist out of me!

Volksfest took place from Sept. 18-21. It is a town celebration, similar to Turkey Day but much bigger. It lasts four days and there are huge tents for bands and food. There are rides, fireworks, and of course a parade! The parade was on September 19th and 20th; Svenja and I rode in a jeep representing the exchange students. It was a lot of fun! The parade was probably triple the size of the Turkey Day parade; this year's theme was agricultural. There were also visitors from Worthington at Volksfest that I was able to meet up with -- Bob Westphal and Harris Darling. It was so nice to talk to them, and I think they had a great time! The people around here say there are five seasons in a year - winter, spring, summer, fall, and Volksfest. I definitely agree with that I absolutely loved Volksfest!

I am adjusting well to the German life, and I now know that I have a second home here in Crailsheim. This is one of the best decisions I have made in my life! I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to take part in this exchange program. I encourage all upcoming students to consider this exchange program. It has been an awesome experience for me so far, and I still have nine months to go. I look forward to a great year!

Nicole Janssen

Crailsheim exchange student