Ann-Kathrin Puschkasch: USA

Hello to everyone,


I wish you the most amazing Christmas in your life.
May lovely, happy times decorate this time of the season.
May warm, special memories brighten your new year.
May the wonder of Christmas be with you forever.

I am really excited to see you again when I'm back in summer next year.
Love and hugs








Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.




Over five months of my exchange year are over now. There are some experiences I would like to share with you. Central High School is the school I go to and it is located in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania. Schools in America are pretty different from the ones in Germany. School usually starts at 7:40am and ends at 2:25 in the afternoon on weekdays. Usually Students don’t attend classes on weekends. In  school, students can choose subjects they want to take every year, but English, math and history must be taken to make sure students get enough credits for graduating from high school.  Every day  students go from class to class. Between each period, there is a 4-minute break for them to get their books from their lockers. Each person has his or her private locker and password in the hallway. My favorite subjects are English and art. American schools attach great importance to students’ creativity so they chiefly require students to use their own imagination to do things such as posters, gardening, speech competition. Physical education is also essential when you study in America. For instance, if you are very good at football or any other sports and play for the school team, the school will speak highly of you and probably award you an honor medal.


This year my tennis team became the first time champion and I received an award with the title ‘Outstanding Newcomer’.




I am hosted by a really nice "all-American" family. I have a host mom and dad, an awesome sixteen-year- old host sister and two dogs and two cats. My host sister is really like the sister I have never had. We are really good friends now.


I've made a lot of friends over here. As we all know, America is the melting pot of all races and cultures in the world. In Pennsylvania about 50% of the population has ancestors from Germany. They all came to the USA around 1900-1930. The people I first got to know were my sister`s friends. They are all my friends now, too. I also got to know a lot of my friends through sport activities at school. Like my tennis and my swim team. We formed a friendship that will forever bond us together no matter how far we are from each other.


I have traveled several times during my five months here now. I've been to Washington D.C(twice), New York, Maryland, Baltimore. My family also plans to go to Florida (Disneyworld) with me and in May I'll be on a tour in California for 10 days with my organization EF. I'm really excited to see all my friends again I've been with in the EF Camp before I came here.


Each step I have taken, each landmark I have touched and set foot on, every face I've known and even just seen: I have considered them as the greatest treasures in my life. Every experience I make here is really new and different for me. It opens my vision in the widest way possible. No matter which side of the world we come from, we in essence are still the same. This is probably the greatest thing you can learn.




One of my best experiences over here was the Homecoming dance at my school. We have this dance right after our first home game of the football season. 


It was the most amazing night of my life. A whole evening we danced and had fun together, me and all my friends. This year homecoming was also my sister´s birthday. So the party went on at home. It was my first and only homecoming in my life and I'm really looking forward to ‘Prom’ next summer. It's a huge dance from school for the last three grades of high school.




On Thanksgiving we had six days off of school and the whole family came to our house. We cooked a lot of food the hours and days before. That was also a new experience for me. I really enjoyed the days of Thanksgiving because it was a lot of fun to get to know the whole family better and to spend time with them.




After all, it is a very unusual experience for me to be in America and I hope I will be able to go back to revisit the same places and friends here.