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Letter: Memorable exchange student experience wrapping up

Hello, Worthington, this is Skyla Rautenkranz, your 2015-2016 exchange student. My summer has been booked full of adventure. In my last letter, I wrote about my parent's visit to Crailsheim, only a few days after my parents left the Young America...

Hello, Worthington, this is Skyla Rautenkranz, your 2015-2016 exchange student.

My summer has been booked full of adventure. In my last letter, I wrote about my parent's visit to Crailsheim, only a few days after my parents left the Young Americans arrived. The Young Americans are a group of college students from all over the world that attend The Young American College in Corona, Calif. They visited my school on a three-day clinic, finishing with a show in front of about 500 hundred people. Over the weekend they taught us the dance routines, singing and a bit of acting that went along with the show. They also showed us fun acting warm-ups, other types of dancing and, most importantly, confidence. The entire weekend was exhausting but incredibly fun. My friends and I made many memories, including all of us having either singing or dancing solos.

One thing that my friends and I worked hard on this summer was a school project. The bilingual half-hour presentation was a success. Two of us received an A- and my one friend a B. Other than being at the school to work on our presentation, I was also there every day during the break for three weeks visiting English classes. I got to speak English to every English class about Worthington School in America and the exchange program. Many were engaged in the English language and how they could experience what I've experienced throughout my year.

Shortly after the young Americans left, I had a visit from Grandma and Grandpa Rautenkranz and cousin Kendra. My grandma, who visited in 2011 with the “Amazing” Worthington City Band, has family and friends in Crailsheim. During their stay, there were many people for them to catch up with as well as many new people to meet such as my host families. The second part of their trip was traveling the border on a road trip. Over the four travel days, we visited France, Switzerland, Austria and -- of course -- many places in Germany. My family really wanted to see the Black Forest, and we also visited Neuschwanstein Castle. We took a tour of the castle in the German language due to timing; which I tried to interpret. Although my German has exceeded to more than I could’ve imagined, the tour was too fast and complicated to translate quite everything. Good thing after my three visits I knew a few facts. We kept our trip quick to make it in time for my cousin and me to drive to Europa-Park (an amusement park) with a couple of friends. It was fun to have a whole day with Kendra, including riding front row on of the fastest roller coaster for the first and second time. My year was full of memories with new friends, but I also had many opportunities for my families from both sides to make memories together.

I hope you join me in my next letter where I finish off my year and say goodbye. I encourage everyone to get involved with the Crailsheim program in Worthington. I thank everyone who made this possible and contributes to this tradition!

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