On August 12th 20221, I started my exchange year. After an 18-hour- flight I finally landed in Cincinnati. I lived there with my host parents, two host sisters and one host brother for 10 months. I went to the local high school and experienced the American high school spirit.

The school is totally different from the German school because you have only six different subjects for the whole year. Every school day starts with the Pledge of Allegiance‚ and then you have the same subjects everyday. There is a big selection of subjects, for example they have a ceramics class, cooking class, photography class or yearbook.

You don’t have school in the afternoon but a lot of the students join a sports team. There are three different seasons during the year and the first one is fall season. My school for example offered football, volleyball, cheer, dance, soccer and cross country. I chose to join the dance team and we had practice every Tuesday and Thursday after school and sometimes on Saturday. Normally you have practice everyday after school but cheer and dance are also winter sports so we did practice twice or three times a week. During winter my school offered basketball, cheer, dance, swimming. The last season is spring season and I decided to join the track and field team. My school also offered golf, tennis, baseball and softball.

I really liked doing both sports because it is a great way to make friends and because of the practice everyday you get to know these people really well. The American high school spirit is like you know it from the movies, especially during the football and basketball games, a lot of the students show up and cheer for their team. There are also themes every game and everybody dresses like it


Of course my school also had homecoming and prom and that is one of my favorite memories of my exchange year. Before both dances I went with friends to take pictures and went together to dinner and then we went to the dance. That’s what most of the students usually do before the dances. Everybody was dancing and we all had a great time together.

Some other great memories of my exchange year are the trips my host family and me took together. We went to Miami for 5 days. Miami is one of the biggest cities in the US and known for business, art, luxury and nightlife. Sport is a really big thing in the US and my host family took me to basketball, football and baseball games and they are always fun. Especially football was really nice because our team went to the super bowl this year, so everybody was super excited.

It was really interesting to see how they celebrate Holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. But most important are the little things during an exchange year. I’ll never forget the long nights with my host family when we played games, had a campfire or just talked about everything. I’ll always have a second family and home here.

My time in the US was unforgettable. I experienced so much and enjoyed every moment. I got to know the American culture and learned a lot about the daily life and the school system. During these 10 months I’ve grown and learned so much. This exchange year gave me the opportunity to do things I would never have done in Germany and to get to know so many amazing people and to build a second home on the other side of the world.


Katharina Eppinger