I am Emelie Düll, the new exchange student from Crailsheim. Already I have been here in a completely different country for one month, and I can’t believe that time has gone so fast!

On Aug. 8, I arrived with Chloe Bents in Minneapolis after a nine-hour flight. The Bents family is my first host family and includes Colleen Bents and her daughters Claire, Quinn, and Chloe.

During the first days here I unpacked and tried to get used to living this new life, which is of course not very easy because you always have your family and friends in your thoughts.

In my first week I was able to experience a lot. We had a welcome party with Chloe’s friends and there I met some new people. I also went for a boat ride on Lake Okabena. Tennis practice started. I really like the training, and the people are all very friendly.

In my second week I was able to visit the cities of Mankato and Sioux Falls. We went shopping in both cities. I also got registered for classes at Worthington High School. I was really surprised by all the fun classes offered because we don’t have that in Germany. I also spoke to the Worthington Optimist Club, who generously is helping to sponsor a letterman’s jacket for me.

My third weekend was very busy but also wonderful. On Thursday, I played in my first tennis meet in New Ulm. I won my match and had a lot of fun! After the meet I went with my host family to a German restaurant, and there we celebrated my German birthday. We drove from New Ulm to Minneapolis and stayed in a hotel. The next day my host sisters and I went to Valley Fair and celebrated my birthday. My highlight was the water slides and the big roller coasters. In the evening I got a typical American birthday cake, which tasted very good. On Saturday we were invited to a bridal shower for Colleen’s niece. I never heard about bridal showers in Germany; therefore it was a good and new experience. In the evening we celebrated Chloe’s confirmation at St. Mary’s Church.

On my fourth weekend we went to the Minnesota State Fair, where I had a lot of fun. I ate very good food, looked at all the animals and went on some roller coaster rides. I also got to experience a drive-in movie. I had a lot of fun there, and I think it is better than a normal cinema.

During this first month I have tried a lot of new food such as Mexican, Chinese and also American desserts, which are very sweet. I really love the Mexican food.

School is starting the first week of September, and I am very excited about the high school. There are so many new people, and the school is so different than school in Germany.

I am so happy to be here in your town! I would like to offer a big thank you to all the people who have enabled me to have this experience, as well as a big thank you to my host family who is always there for me.