Exactly 7 Months in the USA…

7 months ago, we arrived all together in Boston and had our mutual orientation at the Pomfret School. I still remember the day when I went through the glass door at the airport in Germany and waved to my family the last time.

I also have not written any articles here in a long time, so I will give you an update about my winter term now.

During the winter term I have traveled around a lot and I have tried out new things which I have never done before. After Christmas I moved from my host family to a very good friend to Boston. However, on that day the news warned of a snow storm, so my friend, her family and me, we left the house and went on the highway in the direction to the White Mountains, NH at the same day. Even, on the way we have already seen a lot of snow. My friend Liana and me were very excited to go skiing together in the following days. I have never skiied before and that was why I was incredibly excited and a little fearful what skiing was like. On the next day we had 2 feets of snow there and the wind was blowing very strong, but we went to the ski slope and I signed up for a first time ski package. After the first day of skiing, I was able to ski the first slopes down and I was very pleased that I tried this sport. I had never thought I would love skiing. So the next 3 days I was skiing with my friend until we left our vacation home the day before New Year’s Eve.
It was very interesting to watch the ball-drop from New York on the television on New Years Eve. However, we started packing our stuff very soon because we were going to New York City. It was so awesome and my Christmas present from my friend’s family was a ticket for Wicked on Broadway. I was so happy I cannot describe this day.
“New York here I am coming!”

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(from the left: Kristina (my friends’s sister), Liana and me)

In the time in New York, I was visting the Metropolitain Museum of Arts, I enjoyed a great visibitlity from the Empire State Building and a walk through the Central Park. Then we visited Chelsea Market, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Broadway, Fifth Avenue, Ground Zero and a lot of other things. I really enjoyed this trip and in my memories it was one of the best trips I have ever did with my very good friend! It was great to see the diversity of people in New York and also how tall the sky scrapers were in fact.

After the Christmas Break, we had Spirit week. Spirit Week was a week in February in which we were allowed to go to classes in costumes to special themes every day. The first day was Pyjama Day, after that I paticipated in the Spirit Day, the Color War in which every grade had their own color and needed to create a short sketch with this color. The last interesting day of our Spirit week was the Switch Gender Day through which my school became in one day a boys school. It was very interesting to see how some people dressed up themselves because this was our chance in which we could be out of dresscode.

66095_10200136058337013_1108529646_n( my host sister aned friend Brandi & me)

Moreover on Thursday, there was Valentines Day and my dance group supported through a flash mob at lunch the billion rising campaign which criticizes violance against women.
Valentines Day is in the US very different from the Valentines Day in Germany, but I appreciated to see the different way of celebration. In the community service, we created little thank you cards for the staff of Stoneleigh-Burnham School and in my advisory we decorated “Happy Valentine’s Cards” for friends. I even got some valentines presents which I did not think about – I was very suprised.
The end of our Spirit Week was crowned with the celebration of 100 nights until graduation. I could not believe that only 100 days were left until graduation for the seniors and the end of a year abroad for me.

I do not want to picture the day when I will leave the US again because I had such an enjoyable experience so far. I have been able to improve my English, my knowledge and skills culturally and socially, and also my sport and academic prowess. I have become acquainted with many great friends, teachers, house parents, coaches and other people who work here. However, I think it is much more important that I learned a lot about myself and that I got to know myself in a different way. A year abroad was, is, and will be a live changing experience which I will never forget for my entire life.

During the last weeks until the Spring Break my school had a very special week: EUROPE WEEK!!! In which every student from an european country could express its own and different culture. Thereby, each student prepared a Power-Point Presentation about their country for our House Meeting, cooked traditional European Food in one of the appartments of our Houseparents on the weekend or talked about their country on culutre tables at lunch in our dining hall. This was a great opportunity to express a little bit of my german culture in our small Girl’s Boarding School community.

After this week, our Pre-Season for our Spring Sports started and I had signed up for Lacrosse so that I can try out one new last thing in my time abroad. Also if the practice was/is a lot of work and exhausting, I enjoyed it more and more each day. I am very happy that I signed up for this and I hope I have a wonderful time in that big team.

All in all, I had another awesome term with a lot of different experiences. During this term I chose dance as my sport and I enjoyed it a lot. I learned so much in this course and I experienced through workshops so many new types of dance which I never tried before. I enjoyed going to every dance class and I remember that I always had a smile on my face. Our big dance presentation was before Christmas and for this performance we danced Momo.

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(Winter Dance Performance; Stoneleigh-Burnham School (picture: by Stoneleigh-Burnham))

Now I can finally start to relax after 2 really exhausting weeks with Pre-season, tests, the 3 final exams and packing all my stuff. In the afternoon on Friday, I left Stoneleigh-Burnham School and my host mother picked me up. Until now I have had a great time over break and on Wednesday my parents fly to the US to travel around through the US until the end of the break.
I am very happy to see them again, however it is very sad that less than 3 months are left!!!

The time runs too fast!!!

Janine – Stoneleigh-Burnham School

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My first vacation trips…

Hey!!!

Now we are almost 3 weeks in the U.S. and I still have vacation. It is so great, but I’m also looking forward to the time when the school will start.

After the ASSIST Orientation (Thank you ASSIST it was such an amazing time!!!) my host family picked me up at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA and since this time I have been living in Northfield, MA. My host family is pretty nice and I am very happy to stay with them. Thank you so much!!!

In the last days we tried to visit all of the 6 New England States and we were definitely in almost every of this states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachussetts & Connecticut.    Rhode Island is the only state which we didn’t visit.

New Hampshire: On 26th August my host family and I visited the Meadowbrook concert in New Hampshire where Train, Andy Grammar and Mat Kearney performed songs like “Drive By”, “Miss Me” or “Ships in the night”. Andy Grammar ran through the audience and was very close to us and the light show (when Train was on the stage) was incredible. All in all it was such an awesome concert and an amazing day!!!

Vermont, Massachussets: One evening my host parents and I did a little bikeride through Vermont and Massachussets. My host family lives in Massachussetts and very close to the border to Vermont, so it was very easy cycling to the next state.

Connecticut: Last Thursday we were in Connecticut for watching a “real American Football Game” in which UConn played against UMass. I only understand a few rules, but watching this game and all the other things, which happened there, were quite great.

Maine; New Hampshire: On the Labour Day Weekend we visited relatives of my host family in New Hampshire, where we stayed the last 2 days. On Saturday before we went to them, my host sister and mother and me went into an amusement park which was called Canobie Lake Park. There we drove with almost every rollercoaster and I  have never thought about going into a rollercoaster in which you drive vertical down. 🙂 But it was great and a lot of fun…Later, when it was dark outside, we did a camp fire and ate Smores, which were good, but very sticky. Funny was, the marshmallows were bigger than normal: like XXXXXL marshmallows. On Sunday we went to Maine to the coast and we only took some photos there, because the weather was not so good. So we drove to Portsmouth,NH where we ate some bagles and sandwiches for luch. Delicious!!! After the little shopping tour in a shopping mall, we went back to Dover, where we played some funny games. Today we finally were on the beach. The weather was so nice and the water soooo cold… But is was lovely. 

Now I am enjoying my last 2 vacation days until I will move to my room at Stoneleigh-Burnham and next week the school will start…

Have all a  great time and enjoy it!!!

Janine