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Paynesville Press - March 30, 2005

PAHS students enjoy German trip

By Michael Jacobson

becky Forty-two students from Paynesville Area High School recently enjoyed a 11-day trip to Germany. The optional, bi-annual trip is meant to give German students at PAHS first-hand experience with the German language and culture, including a homestay with a German family.

After leaving Paynesville on Sunday, March 6, and flying to Frankfurt, via Chicago, the group - along with three chaperones, including German teacher Darrel Carstens - spent their first five days touring. They visited Heidelberg, Rothenburg, the Alps, the Neuschwanstein Castle, and Munich. In the Bavarian capital, the group saw the Glochenspiel, the Olympic grounds (from the 1972 Summer Olympics), and the nearby Dachau Concentration Camp.

Becky Leyendecker posed for a picture as the PAHS students toured the walled city of Rothenburg.

Then the students spent five days in Ulm living with a German family and going to school at the Humboldt Gymnasium. Students from Humboldt visited PAHS last fall, and the PAHS juniors and seniors lived with their respective student during this exchange trip. In Ulm, students also saw the Ulm Cathedral, the largest church in the world with 768 steps to the top of the church tower. After the family stay, the group stopped at Rudesheim and stayed overnight in Mainz before flying home on Wednesday, March 16.

Students shared some of their favorite parts of the trip, what they learned, what surprised them, and why they would recommend the trip.

My Favorite Part of the Trip
"Neuschwanstein because the castle was so big and everything was so pretty inside."
Katie Bertram

"Staying with the family because it was fun."
Ross Barten

"Family stay. This provided an experience that no museum/ church/castle could ever provide."
Shawn Reinke

town "The family stay because I got to experience some things no one else did but yet I still got to be with my friends."
Jess Schwartz

The students spent five days touring, including visiting Heidelberg, where they saw this overlook of the old city.

"Skiing in the Alps."
Aaron Bachman "Staying with a family because I had a student stay with me and it was nice to meet back up with him."
Cody Flanders

"Being able to see all the Germans that came to America."
Kayla Mackedanz

"Visiting all the historical sights because they have a lot of interesting history behind them."
Cody Block

"Being with my host family. They took me all over. Ausburg, Switzerland, Austria, the Bodensee, the Alps, resturants."
Matt Mehr "The family stay. We had lots of fun and got to see everyone."
Sean Glenz

What I Learned
"How lucky we are to be able to drive. They have to plan everything around the bus schedule."
Sam Moser

"It is harder to speak German in Germany because they talk a lot faster."
Tyler Wendroth

"German is harder to speak than we thought."
A.J. Christian

"We rely on cars way more than Europeans; how to speak German better; everybody smokes over there; curryworst is the most discusting food ever devised."
Emily Mehr

"I learned that you don't need to speak much German to survive in Germany."
Justin Butkofski "It's hard to understand Germans because they speak really fast."
Caitlin Lein

castle "I learned about how different our two cultures are; the streeets were narrow; everyone there knows multi-languages."
Amber Jensen

Forty-two students from PAHS recently took and 11-day trip to Germany, including a five-day family stay in Ulm. Here, the students are touring an inner courtyard at the Heidelberg Castle.

"It can be hard to order food at McDonalds. You should not go to the bathroom that says DAMEN on the door."
Travis Cromwell

"How much we take our cars for granted. While at our family stay, most of the kids had to walk or bike to school, and they never complained. It was good to have the other experience."
Kendra Johnson

"I was suprised by how much the Germans walk. They either walk or take a bus everywhere. This is unlike Americans who drive everywhere."
Rachael Wendlandt

"That they drive like maniacs. When you cross the street, cars won't slow down; they will hit you. So you better run fast."
Todd Thielen

"I learned more German vocabulay. My host father was really the only one in the famliy who could speak fluent English. The rest spoke a little English. I was challenged with speaking more German which was a great experience."
Amanda Skalicky

"I learned that there is a lot more American stuff over there then I thought. The music played in most stores was in English and almost all speak a little bit of English."
Becky Leyendecker

What Surprised Me
"It suprised me that Germans don't rely on driving to go to town as much as Americans do. Most of the Germans live close enough to town that they walk."
Michelle Monson

"There weren't any big pick-ups. I only saw one full size pick-up when we were there and that was at the airport."
Justin Bork

"How well most people spoke fluent English. Also how most Germans could tell that I was American just by looking at me, and hearing me speak only one word of German."
Josh Binsfeld

"I was suprised how many young kids are very much alike. Politics of our governments are the only differences. A 12-year-old girl will ride a public bus through the city alone."
Mike Mueller

"How many people spoke English. Everywhere we went we found somebody who spoke English. Also how many people smoke. Every-where you go German lifestyles are more relaxed than Americans."
Kristi Utsch

"What suprised me the most was how much they walk and how they have to take buses all the time."
Leah Spanier

Why I Recommend This Trip
"I thought visiting Germany was one of the best experiences of my life and I would recommend a visit to Munich to everybody."
Carrie Zirbes "It is easier to learn about the culture through experience than it is through the classroom."
Matt Fuchs

autobahn "It is very interesting and fun to be in a foreign country. You also meet a lot of students in Ulm and get to interact with them and see their daily schedule."
Kim Hess

Among the surprises for PAHS students was German driving and the high speeds allowed on the autobahn.

"It is very interesting and fun to learn about their culture while meeting new friends at the same time."
Lynn Lieser

"It was a blast. I really like that they come here first because when we went there then we knew them and it was easy to talk to them."
Ashley Lieser

"Visiting Germany was a great experience of my life. If I ever had the chance, I would go back and see my host family again."
Melanie Mages

"It was the trip of a lifetime."
Eric Hansen

"It was an experience of a lifetime. Tons of fun and a great learning experience about the language and culture."
Mark Andrie

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