Gymnasium Ganderkesee

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Besuch aus den USA

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Anya und Aileen aus der Klasse 8c interviewten die Austauschschülerin Kate, die derzeit den 11. Jahrgang des GymGan besucht. Das Interview führten sie auf Englisch, obwohl Kate mittlerweile auch sehr gut Deutsch spricht!


1. What’s your name?

My name is Kate Garrett.


2. How old are you?

I am currently 17.


3. Where do you live in the USA?

I live in Fort Collins, Colorado. It’s a smallish town (about 130,000 people) about an hour and a half away from Denver, if you know Colorado at all. Sadly, nothing in Colorado is particularly famous or important.


4. How do you feel about life in Germany and especially in Ganderkesee?

It’s actually not too much different from what I am used to, really. Ganderkesee is smaller than my town, though with all the surrounding areas, I’m not bored. I was terribly bored of my home town by the time I left. But I really just enjoy being here, overall.


5.Is your host family nice to you?

My host family has been fantastic so far – very supportive and friendly and wonderful.


6. Do you like German food? What do you like best? Is there anything you don’t like at all?


Interesting. I’m actually vegetarian, so that means that a lot of the foods that Germany is famous for, I can’t eat – I suppose those would be the things that I don’t like at all. With the exception of this, I do like German food  - though there are lots more potatoes and starches (stärkehaltige Nahrungsmittel) than I am used to. I had Dampfnudel in München, and that was pretty delicious.


7. What are the main differences between German schools and schools in the USA?

One of the first things I noticed, was of course that if the teacher is absent, class is simply cancelled. Big difference. In the US, we have people that come and take care of us, while our teachers are away. Beyond that, I haven’t noticed too many differences. The grading and homework system is a bit different, but the way the students interact is very much the same. The way the schedule is set up is a lot different, though, with the block days all throughout the week – it makes school feel a lot longer.


8. Why do you like or dislike your new German school, the “Gymnasium Ganderkesee”?

I like my schedule here more than I did in the US, because it’s not always the same thing everyday. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take some of the classes that I wanted to here, but we can’t have everything can we?


9. Have you already made friends here?

Yes. There’s been pl

enty of people who have been very friendly and helpful, already.


10. Is it difficult to learn German? If it is, what are the main difficulties?

I don’t really think it’s more difficult than learning any other language, but I’ve never been able to speak any other language (besides, of course, English) as well as I currently do German (which is particularly well). I took Spanish in school as well, but I wasn’t nearly so capable. The main problem that I have with German is the fact that there are so many prepositions. English doesn’t have quite so many, so I’m sure I say ridiculous things all the time. The rest is just learning vocabulary, and getting the grammar right.


11. Why did you decide to learn German and how did you strike on the idea?

I just like learning languages, I think that it’s fascinating. Why German specifically? I like the way that German sounds, honestly, and so I wanted to be able to speak it.


12. Why did you make the exchange to Germany and what do you want to achieve here?

Well, like I said, I really wanted to learn to speak German. I plan to study languages later at the university level, and I thought this would be a good introduction. I have always heard that learning a first foreign language is the most difficult, and after that it just gets easier – that’s what I’m hoping for. I’d also like to let people know that not all Americans are completely brainless…


© Anya & Aileen (8c)