My name is Mona and I am 17 years old. I was born in Lueneburg, which is in the Northern part of Germany. Germany is a country with a very unique character in culture. Traditional German food includes mostly potatoes in all different kinds, as well as sauerkraut and beer, which are also very common on a German dinner table. Comparable to the States, Germany is divided into 16 different "states" with their own school systems, laws and even different accents. Well known for their huge Octoberfest, leather pants, and dirndls is Bavaria for example. This is the place where I lived my whole life, until last August 2004. That is when my exchange year here in the States started.
My first days of school in an American high school were very exciting. Having a locker, every period different courses with different people and 90 minute classes instead of 45, everything was so new! But it was also very hard to find my way through a school with 3,000 students, which was three times bigger than I was used to. I did not know anybody but everyday became easier with meeting new people, and most important to me, finding real friends by the time.
Though school was going well, I did not really have challenges in my host family. I first did not really like the fact that I have to share a room with another exchange student from Yemen, because I did not know her, but I soon realized how much fun that was and could not even understand anymore why I ever worried about sharing a room with her.
My best memory here in the States was definitely my trip to Canada with my host family during Thanksgiving break in November! I did not only get the chance to experience the States, but also got to see another country in North America! Also very exciting was my birthday in December. My host sister and some friends prepared a big kid napping tour for me and we ended up eating breakfast at Denny�s in our pajamas at 6:30 in the morning. And this craziness of the Americans is what made my birthday the most unique one I have ever had.
Right now I am just enjoying my time here in San Antonio, Texas, and absorbing as much culture and American Life as I possibly can.