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Letter: Trip to London was a September highlight

I am writing to update you on this past month in Crailsheim, Germany, which has been busy but so much fun! I joined a ballroom dance class, an orchestra, and I continue to play soccer. I enjoy being in various groups because I am able to meet new...

I am writing to update you on this past month in Crailsheim, Germany, which has been busy but so much fun! I joined a ballroom dance class, an orchestra, and I continue to play soccer. I enjoy being in various groups because I am able to meet new people and try new things. Both ballroom dancing and soccer are new experiences for me. They’re both challenging but fun. I continue orchestra while away because of my love for the cello. It is amazing because with music you don’t need to speak. It is a universal language, and that is another reason I enjoy playing.

I started school a couple of weeks ago in the first part of September. School in Germany is very different than in America. A typical day ends around noon, and the school year ends in July. The classes are also different in that you stay with one class and the teachers move from classroom to classroom. There are many different high schools you can go to based on what you want to be. I am at a Realschule, which is like a school in the middle - it goes to the 10th grade, and then students must continue their path at other schools working toward apprenticeships or other jobs. At the end, every student must take tests similar to the ACT. They must take them in every class. However, different from the ACT, if they fail they don’t graduate and must take the whole year over again. I believe this would be very stressful. Attending school, I feel my German has improved, and I’ve made many friends.

I went to my first Volksfest this month. It’s four days long and reminded me a lot of the State Fair. There were a lot of vendors, many carnival rides, tents, two parades and fireworks at the end. I was in both of the parades, where I got to sit in the back of a pickup and wave to the crowd.I went every day and hung out with newly made friends, enjoyed the rides, danced, sang and ate a lot of food. When I went on the Ferris wheel, I could see almost all of Crailsheim and the hills behind it. It was a very beautiful view, and I took many photos. It was a very good, very German experience I will never forget!

I was also lucky enough to have the chance to visit London with my class. We stayed with host families so I could speak English. My host family was very nice and consisted of parents and three sons. While in London I got to see many beautiful sights including Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, Tower of London, Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown, markets with vendors that had home-made goods, Canterbury and the musical “The Lion King,” which was stunning. I also got to see London from above when I went to the Shard, and also when I went on a hike nearby London. My personal favorite was going to Brighton. I was able to go to a beach with the most breathtaking views. I could see the ocean and cliffs. It was so calm and beautiful, and I would love to live there. Through the London trip I was able to become closer with some of the friends I had made, and even make some new friends. Going to London was definitely a highlight of my year abroad.

I want to thank the Crailsheim and Worthington Committees and all of the people who support the program to allow me to have these amazing experiences. I look forward to what the next month brings!

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