Wausau East High School
Photos of our trip in 2009
Der Austausch mit der Wausau East High School in Wausau/Wisconsin begann 1995, als eine Gruppe amerikanischer Gastschüler das Heinrich-von-Gagern-Gymnasium besuchte. Der Gegenbesuch erfolgte im Jahr darauf: 15 Schülerinnen und Schüler und Frau Schmitz als begleitende Lehrerin flogen von Frankfurt nach Chicago und von dort weiter nach Wausau, einer Stadt, ziemlich in der Mitte Wisconsins gelegen. Es folgten fast zwei Wochen Wausau, untergebracht bei Gastfamilien, wo man mit dem "exchange partner" die Schule besuchte und einen sehr guten Eindruck von amerikanischem High-School-Life bekam. Weiterhin gab es Besichtigungen in und um Wausau (Indianerreservat im Norden Wisconsins, landwirtschaftliche Einrichtungen, Papierfabriken). Den Aufenthalt in Wisconsin rundete eine dreitägige Fahrt nach Madison (der Hauptstadt des Staates Wisconsin), Spring Green ("The House on the Rock"; Frank Lloyd Wright - Taliesin) und Wisconsin Dells ab. Danach hieß es, sich von den Gastfamilien zu verabschieden. Es folgten fünf Tage in Illinois, genauer in Chicago, wo man nach dem "Mainstream America" nun auch eine der großen Metropolen erlebte.
Im März und Juni 1997 besuchten amerikanische Austauschschüler, in zwei Gruppen aufgeteilt, erneut das Gagern-Gymnasium. Der Gegenaustausch findet im Frühjahr 1998 statt.
Der Austausch dient nicht nur der Vervollständigung der Englischkenntnisse, man bekommt durch den zweiwöchigen Besuch einen Einblick in das amerikanische Schulleben und den Alltag einer amerikanischen Familie.
Weitere Informationen sowie einen ausführlicheren Bericht zum Austausch 1996 sind im Jahresbericht 1996 des Heinrich-von-Gagern-Gymnasiums enthalten, der im Sekretariat erhältlich ist.
Als Teilnehmer der Fahrt kann ich nur empfehlen, nach Wausau zu fahren. Es ist eine Erfahrung, die sich wirklich lohnt, die einen mitten in das amerikanische Leben taucht, so wie man es in Urlaubsorten und Hotels ganz bestimmt nicht erfährt.
Die Homepageadresse von Wausau East High School:
» Website der Partnerschule in Wausau
Reported by Lisa Höhne and Nico Schweizer
Our Exchange with our partner school in Wausau, Wisconsin
Fortunately, everybody was at our meeting point at Rhein-Main airport at 5 a.m. (!!) on September 16th, 2002. We that is 15 students, Mrs.Schmitz and Mr.Ramb were very glad the exchange finally did take place as the year before, when the exchange had originally been planned, it had been impossible to travel on account of the terrorist attacks on September 11th.
After the nine-hour flight to Chicago and the short connecting flight our partners were waiting for us at Central Wisconsin, Wausaus airport.
First it was a little strange to talk to them in English but on our bus ride in an original yellow school bus to Wausau East High School the atmosphere was quickly getting more relaxed. The rest of the first day we spent with our host families very tired and suffering from jet-lag. The next day started with a doughnut breakfast in the room of Mrs.Winter-Leigh, who is the German teacher at Wausau East. After that we followed our partners to their classes, which was very interesting. Altogether we had 4 days at school. American schools are much bigger and better equipped than schools in Germany.
On the following day we visited an Indian village. An Indian guide showed us their wigwams, some of which are still used for ceremonies, and told us some facts about the tribe´s history. Later on in an Indian museum we learned more about the Native Americans and how they lived off and in nature.
Our program for the next day included a visit to a big dairy farm (3.000 cows in one barn!) and a walk through a corn maze. Because of the rains the day before we had “MATSCH fun in the corn maze.
As the reason for our journey was not just to have fun but also to get better insight into the cultural background of Wausau, we went to a local museum, called Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum after a lumber barons daughter, where pictures and sculptures of birds were exhibited and where we had to choose one of the works of art and talk about it.
This eventful week was followed by a nearly even more eventful weekend: We had a lot of time to get to know our host families better and to do some activities with them, for example to go canoeing, fishing, horse-back riding or watching football games.
The Germans, getting along with each other better and better in the meantime, decided to go to a “midnight bowling together with our host students. On this evening we had a lot of fun.
In the second week there were two outings which both of them lasted for a whole day. The first was a trip to Milwaukee, where we did a German Heritage Tour. After this tour we were allowed to go shopping in the Mall of Milwaukee, which, once there, we hardly wanted to leave anymore. But the program was set and that was the reason why we went to the shore of Lake Michigan, which was very impressive as well.
The second outing was a trip to Madison, where we were shown the large campus of the University of Wisconsin (40.000 students) and a little town in itself. Our guide, a professor of German, told us how much money you have to pay to be admitted to this university and we were quite shocked at the large amount.
After a walk through the shopping area of Madison we came to the Capitol, which is a copy of the Capitol in Washington, D.C.. We took a guided tour of the splendid building and were very impressed. After spending another weekend with our families we had to say Good-bye because Chicago was waiting for us. We were all very sad that these two weeks had gone so fast but our families invited us to visit again.
Arriving in Chicago we were very excited to be in such an impressive city and could not wait to leave our hotel. On the first evening we took a boat trip on Lake Michigan, which was great because of the sunset that was reflected in the water. The next three days we saw a lot of places in Chicago but also had enough time to get to know Chicago on our own. We went to several museums, for example the huge Science and Industry Museum, where there were a lot of interesting things to see. We were especially enthusiastic about the Titanic Exhibition and the Flight Simulator. Besides we visited the Aquarium which gave us a view of the underwater world.
We had all been looking forward to go up to the 110th floor of the Sears Tower but unfortunately the day we went up it was very foggy. In spite of not seeing a lot of Chicago it was a very cool feeling to be at such a height.
The evenings were spent celebrating birthdays as three of us (Lisa, Nico and Mareike) had their birthdays during our stay. One of those birthdays we celebrated at the Hard Rock Café in Chicago, which you cannot compare with the one in Frankfurt. On our last evening we went to Shakespeare´s “Love´s Labour´s Lost at the Navy Pier. We were not able to understand much of the old English which was spoken there. But it was a nice experience anyway.
After all that we have to say that during our eighteen days in America the mood was wonderful and we were never bored.
We thank Mrs. Schmitz, Mr. Ramb and all the Americans that were involved in our exchange.