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The 7.B does America
A short report about our trip to Uncle Sam.

It was in the sixth form when we started thinking about a trip to the US. We had to choose between the following options: do we want to visit London for a week, or go to New York State for three weeks. From the very beginning on it was quite clear that we would go to New York. So we started making plans and we received some offers. Finally we chose to make our trip with EF, which organized our journey perfectly.

On September 14th, 8.10 o'clock sharp, we, that are 24 sudents and our two teachers Prof. Werner Raup and Prof. Edmund Huditz, left at Villach HBF to travel to the world's capital number one: New York City. And by the way, nobody was sad to leave. Maybe we were a little bit excited because we didn't really know what to expect. We went to Vienna by train and at Vienna International Airport we boarded the Austrian Airlines Airbus taking us to JFK-Airport in the heart of the Big Apple.

The flight was an adventure itself, not only because Sonja Kirchberger was on the plane and had to give a lot of autogrammes. We had perfect flight weather, nice stewardesses and a good board-service. So we enjoyed the last beers for the next three weeks. The first thing that made us realize that we were in America were the yellow caps driving past at the airport.

From New York City we went to our course town Clinton Corners on a typical American bus. In Clinton we met our host families at two o'clock in the morning. Most of us had used the time on the bus to get some sleep, because at this moment we had already been travelling for 24 hours and we were all very, very tired. Then we met our hosts picking us up at the Clinton Historical Society's building and they took us to their homes. That was on September 15th. From now on we had a full itinerary for the next three weeks.

I wouldn't say that everyone's English is flawless since we were there but our English really profited from having a good time with all the native speakers. Additionally, most of us established new friendships within no time. This is maybe more important than anyhting else.

Clinton Corners is a small town, smaller than Villach, 1 1/2 hours outside NYC, if you go by car. It's really a lovely town. The time we spent there was the beginning of the Indian summer which makes all forests look so colourful. The people in Clinton were very kind and hospitable, and after a short time they really seemed to love us and we loved them too. The three hours of ESL we had every day took place at the Clinton Historical Society's Building, and next to the graveyard we played soccer during the recesses.

Now we want to give you a short survey of what we did there:

Mon 9/15: We had ESL (English as a secondary language) for the first time and after that we went to Woodstock which was ok. Most interesting was the typical American school bus which took us everywhere for the next 3 weeks.
Tue 9/16: That was the day of our Welcome Party which was really nice. The Americans made traditional food for us. Some of the things seemed really strange e.g. the potato chips in the salad!
Wed 9/17: A visit to the Roosevelt Estate after ESL was also just ok.
Thurs 9/18: Our first Trip to NYC. It was amazing! New York is really the capital of the world. The problem is that you need many years to see everything in New York. Three hours we spent with walking through the Central Park to the Fifth Avenue, where we saw The Plaza, the Warner Brothers Studio Store, the Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, Rockefeller Center and so on. After that we met at the Empire State Building, where we did the NY sky ride and looked down on Manhattan from the 102nd floor.
Fri 9/19: ESL in the morning and after box lunch we went to the Poughkeepsie Journal by car pool and had a tour through the buildings with Donna (whom we all loved very much, especially Harry and Werner)
Sat 9/20:
Sun 9/21:
Everybody spent two days with his/her host family. Some went to New York, to Albany, to Connecticut or to football games or just shopping.
Mon 9/22: In the morning we had ESL and after that the guys played soccer next to the graveyard near the CHS building to have some exercise for the soccer game against the Upton Lk School. They had perfect equipment but we beat them 7:1!
Tue 9/23: Instead of ESL we learned about Halloween and Thanksgiving and after box lunch we went pumpkin-picking to the Greig farm.
Wed 9/24: We spent the whole day at Elizabeth's, our local EF organizer, and we prepared a traditional Thanksgiving meal which we ate up after cooking.
Thurs 9/25: ESL in the morning and after that we carved the pumpkins we had picked on Tuesday.
Fri 9/26: A whole day of premium outlet shopping at Woodbury Commons.
Sat 9/27:
Sun 9/28:
We spent these two days with our hosts.
Mon 9/29: Everybody took a peek at the American high school experience. Most of us were at the FD-Roosevelt High School. We experienced a day like an American pupil does.
Tue 9/30: ESL and box lunch before we went to the West-Point Military Academy which was the only really boring thing in these three weeks.
Wed 10/1: The day of our second NYC-trip. We saw Little Italy, Soho, China Town, etc. After that we visited the Austrians who work in the Austrian Cultural Institute. It was very interesting :-) . It was the first time we had a really comfortable bus.
Thurs 10/2: ESL, box lunch and thereafter we spent our time with playing soccer and cooking traditional Austrian meals for the Farewell dinner in the evening.
Fri 10/3: This was the last day of our time in Clinton and we spent the afternoon with our host families.
Sat 10/4: Host time to 2:00 pm, then we left Clinton Corners for JFK. But first everybody took a thousand fotos and when we left everybody seemed to be crying :-( . At seven we left from JFK Airport.

In conclusion we have to say that we had great three weeks. It was both informative and great fun. It was best for our English and the friendships we formed will hopefully last very long. And maybe we'll meet some of our new friends here in Villach again. During our stay it seemed we left a good impression in Clinton Corners, if you can believe the Clinton News, that said that we're fluent in friendliness. What they carried too far was the point that we speak several languages fluently. All in one we did a good job in representing Austria abroad. The Americans were sometimes surprised how things are going on in Austria, but I'm sure they also enjoyed getting information about another culture and lifestyle.

We want to thank Elisabeth who did such a great job and offered us a perfect time in the USA; and of course all the people who housed one of us for this time and/or spent a lot of time with us, especially Bill McDermott from the CHS who gave us the oportunity to use the building, and our ESL teachers, who taught us a lot of interesting and weird things.

>Stadtschreiber, Ruprecht, 7.B

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