Learning in Germany - My Family Travels

This summer, I had the privilege of going to Germany with my German class.  My German teacher, Frau Howard, organizes for her advanced students to go to Germany every other year to learn more about the language and the culture that they have been studying throughout our high school careers.  


I was super excited for our trip and could not wait to get there! After our eight-hour Lufthanza plane ride from Detroit to Frankfurt, we took another flight to Munich, where we would be staying at the Leonardo Hotel, near downtown Munich, for the first week of our three week adventure.  Our first week was spent doing a lot of tours and day-trips around southern Germany, as well as a day-trip to Salzburg, Austria!  In spite of the fact that our teacher is a native Austrian and therefore, fluent in German, we had a tour guide the entire first week who worked for NETC, the travel program that we were using for our trip.  The tour guide was very kind and because she lived in Munich, knew where to take us and about fun things to do in the city, such as a folk festival on the outskirts of town.


As much as I enjoyed the sight-seeing included in our first days in Germany, my favorite part of our trip was the family home-stay.  After leaving our tour guide in Munich, we took a bus ride to Würzburg, where we were to meet the family that NETC had matched us with.  Now I admit that my first day there was a little awkward just meeting the family that I would essentially be a part of for the next two weeks, but once the weirdness of it wore off, I had a really, really fantastic time.  My family was all very nice and spoke nearly perfect English, which made it easier to communicate than for me trying to use my three years of German.  My exchange partner, Kristina, is also my age and will be coming to Michigan to live with my family and I this coming September.  While I was living with them, Kristina took me to her school, shopping, to meet her friends, and to the discos, taking the bus or train to all these different activites; giving me an actual German experience and showing me what it would be like to live there.  And although our whole group of Americans wasn’t living together anymore, during the weekdays we still met up and went on day-trips while the Germans went to school.  During these day-trips, we toured Würzburg, as well as other German cities, such as Rothenburg, Bamberg, and Nuremberg.  


After a very short two weeks, we had to say good-bye to our families and take a long bus ride to the Frankfurt airport.  I could have never imagined how hard it actually was to say good-bye to the family that I had just meet only days before.  Because I had grown very close to them, it was especially hard to say good-bye to Kristina’s mother and younger sister, because of the fact that I did not know when the next time I would see them would be.  Lucky for me, Kristina is coming to America soon so I did not have to say the same good-bye to her just yet!  My host family invited me to come visit them anytime, so hopefully I will be able to take them up on that offer because I miss Germany and them too much already! 


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