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My High School Year at Cuthbertson High School

Laura Jendretzki, German exchange student and current CHS senior, smiles beside a typical American school bus that she finds 'exhilarating!"

Do you think American high school life and school buses are everyday occurrences? Not for me! I am Laura Jendretzki, a German exchange student at Cuthbertson High School. This is my sixth month here in Waxhaw, North Carolina, and it has been a really exciting time. I am one of four exchange students at Cuthbertson High and I enjoy learning here and experiencing the American way of life.

I was born and grew up in Berlin, where I had been living until I came here. In Germany I go to “Humboldt-Gymnasium”, a really good high school in Berlin. After a long process of registration for my exchange year, and tons of paper work, I finally started my trip to the United Stated in September, 2010. I was really excited and also a little scared because I had no idea what it would be like to stay in another country for a whole year without my family and without anyone I know.

The first two days I spent in New York, which was a great time. Everything happened so fast and I didn’t really realize that I had just left my home for one year. After two amazing days in New York, I finally flew to Charlotte and my host family picked me up at the airport. They were so nice and friendly and I felt very welcomed.

My high school adventure started when I rode a school bus for the first time in my life. Some of you might think that’s funny, but I can tell you: if you didn’t grow up with the old yellow school buses and only know them from movies, it is exhilarating.

The first day at Cuthbertson High School was a really exciting day for me. Everything was so big and different. I actually felt a little lost at first, but teachers helped me with my schedule and the students showed me the school and told me some things I needed to know. The cafeteria, the announcements, the Pledge of Allegiance, and all the other things here were new for me, but I liked it. It was so interesting to see and hear all that and to finally be part of it. Soon I felt like a real American high school student.

The classes I am taking right now are really fun. I’m taking Media Production, U.S. History and Photography this semester. I also am a teacher assistant in a German class and it is great to see students in another country learn my mother language. Helping them with their work and sharing my knowledge with them is so much fun! I’m looking forward to the next months.

I miss my family and my friends sometimes, but I regularly talk to them on Skype and communicate with them on Facebook. My host family and all the nice people at school made it easy for me to enjoy the time here and they still do. They almost make it impossible for me to be homesick and Waxhaw has become my second home, thanks to them.

In July I will fly back to Germany. Since this year doesn’t count for my school in Germany, I will go to school again, even though I will graduate here. When I’m done with school in Germany and graduated there, I am going to go to a university, maybe in Berlin, but I’m not sure yet. I still have time to think about it.

Being a Cuthbertson Cavalier has become part of my life. I will always remember this wonderful time and never forget about this amazing experience.

SPECIAL TRANSLATION! Please click to read this article translated into German by Laura in her mother language!

Written by: Laura Jendretzki, Senior, Media Production student
Posted: Feb 25, 2011 by Ms. Paula White

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