Austausch USA

Breakfast in america... lautet nicht nur ein Titel von "Supertramp", nein: für eine Gruppe von MPG-Schülern der Klassenstufen 10 und 11 gilt dies derzeit in den Vereinigten Staaten. Die Schüleraustauschbegegnung wurde u.a. aus den Mitteln des German American Partnership Program - GAPP des Auswärtigen Amtes gefördert und durch den Pädagogischen Austauschdienst (PAD) des Sekretariats der Kultusministerkonferenz unterstützt.

Über einen Aufenthalt in Chicago sind unsere Schüler derzeit in Northfield, begleitet von den Kolleginnen Fr. Brachat und Fr. Reinkunz. Anbei einige erste Eindrücke vom Aufenthalt in den USA.

Während ihres Aufenthaltes verfassen die Schüler auch Artikel zu verschiedenen Themen und Eindrücken, die wir im Anschluss präsentieren:

Three days in Chicago

It was Saturday, 13th October when we arrived at the airport in Chicago and got our baggage. Then a bus brought us to our hostel named 'Urban Holiday Lofts'. There we unpacked and soon we walked in the Chicago streets for the first time. Looking for a place to eat, we found the 'Devils Dawn' where the whole group got their first meal. Since it was pretty late, we returned to the hostel and sooner or later everybody went to bed.

After the small hostel breakfast the whole group met to start our journey. With the subway we drove to the station 'Sedwick' from where we walked to a park to see the beautiful skyline of Chicago. After taking many pictures we continued just to stop soon enough for lunch. An hour later we walked to the Lake Michigan where we were allowed to take a break and of course pictures. Our next stop was the Navy Pier where we could ride the Ferris wheel but some students rather wanted to go to merry-go-round. After that, we drove into the city by bus and in one street we separated into groups to eat. At 7.45 pm we met again to walk to the 360° tower. Inside the tower we were able to see Chicago from above which was an awesome view. To make this experience more intense, there was the so called 'Tilt' where you stood inside a widow that tilted to the outside of the tour. Everybody was fascinated by the view. Soon enough the group got tired and rode the subway back to the station 'Damen' and walked to our hostel where we went to sleep.

The next morning we had breakfast and then we went to the Millennium Park where we first went to a fountain and then to the famous sight 'The cloud gate' also called 'The Bean'. There we had a little break where everybody could take pictures. After that we where allowed to get some food in groups and after lunch we met again. While we were walking to the booked boat tour we passed the highest sykscraper in Chicago where we again took some pictures. The boat tour was fantastic and we learned a lot about the city but due to the wind it was very cold. We decided that we would like to return to the hostel for a break and we even got time to do some shopping. After that break it got darker and we went to an all-you-can-eat pizza place for dinner. We again took the subway to our hostel. Some students started packing, others went to bed.

We had our last breakfast in Chicago and finished packing since the bus to the airport came at 9 o'clock. We all said our last goodbyes and soon got pretty excited to meet our exchange partners in Northfield Minnesota.

Amelie Stöcklin und Sophia Kälble

Northfield and Jesse James

Northfield is a small town with almost 20.000 inhabitants located in the Dakota and Rice counties in Minnesota. It has a downtown area, near the Cannon River, where almost all the shops are located. The town was founded in 1856 by John W. North.

The town has got two colleges, St. Olaf and Carleton College, with around 5000 students living around the campus, those make Northfield a college town.

The most important date in the history of the small town was September 7th, 1876, when the James-Younger Gang tried to rob their bank. The gang consisted of the three Younger brothers, Cole, Jim, Bob and two James brothers, Jesse and Frank, plus three others, Charlie Pitts, Bill Stiles and Clell Miller. They were most redoubtable gang in the history of the United States of America and had already looted about 15.000.000$ by bank robbing. The reason why Northfield got famous that day was because they could stop them. It also helped the whole state to get more security against criminality.

The three reasons why they have chosen the First National Bank of Northfield was:

- Nobody else had ever robbed a bank in the North.

- They thought Northfield wouldnít protect itself against the robbers.

- They selected it because of its connection to two union generals and radical Republican politicians.

Bob Younger, Frank James and Charlie Pitts entered the Bank, the other five outlaws stood guard outside. Some citizens realized the robbery and started a gun fight from local hardware stores. Clell Miller was killed by the medical student Henry Wheeler, A. R. Manning killed Bill Stiles. The Younger brothers were wounded by other civilians. A Swedish immigrant was killed by Cole Younger. The assistant cashier of the Bank didnít open the safe and was murdered. Alonzo Bunker, the teller was shot in the right shoulder by Charlie Pitts, trying to escape from the Bank. After hearing the shooting outside, the three outlaws ran out of the bank, having taken only a few bags of nickels.

The “Defeat of Jesse James DaysĒ is celebrated in Northfield every year in September. It is the reason why Northfield is famous.

Felix Himmelsbach, Jonas Fehrenbacher, Jakob Seckinger

Trip to the Twin Cities - Minneapolis and St. Paul

We started our trip to the Twin Cities on Wednesday morning at high school after a short meeting in our home room. We were picked up by the bus at 9:30 am in front of the school. Since some of the German students wanted to ride a school bus, the bus driver had organized one of the typical American yellow school busses for us.

After arriving at the James J. Hill House at 10:30 am we had a tour through the house. James Jerome Hill became famous by building a railway all over America. Later he got experiences in shipping. His house was built in 1891 and it took three years to be built. The home has 3344 square meters of living area and a total space of 4139 square meters.

Our next stop on the Twin Cities tour was the Minnesota State Capitol. We got a guided tour there as well. The Minnesota State Capitol is the seat of government for the U.S. state of Minnesota, in its capital Saint Paul. It houses the Minnesota Senate, Minnesota House of Representatives, the office of the Attorney General and the office of the Governor. The building also includes the chamber of the Minnesota Supreme Court. The building is modelled after Saint Peter´s Basilica in Rome and is the largest dome in the World after the Basilica. It is the third building to serve this purpose. The first was destroyed by fire in 1881 and the second was too small.

After the stop at the Minnesota State Capitol, we drove to the Minnesota History Center. It is a museum and library that serves as the headquarters of the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS). The MNHS is a nonprofit educational and cultural institution dedicated to preserving the history of the U.S. state of Minnesota. First, we had our lunch in the cafeteria. After that, we were allowed to walk around in the History Center.

Before we went shopping in the city of Minneapolis, to finish the trip the bus driver took us to the Stone Arch Bridge. The Stone Arch Bridge is a former railroad bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Saint Anthony Falls in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the only arched bridge made of stone on the entire length of the Mississippi River. The bridge was completed in 1883 and is about 60 meters long, 8.5 meters broad and has 21 stone arch spans.

Luis Ehret, Samuel Sickinger

Weekend trip to Maplelag

At our last weekend in Northfield (26th and 27th October), we went on a weekend trip to one of the thousand lakes in Minnesota. We stayed at Maplelag Resort, which consists of one main building and different small lodges.

The trip started at 7:30 am on Saturday with a 5-hour bus ride. After we had arrived, we had lunch. The menu included salad, soup, bread and brownies. Next, we unpacked our bags in our rooms. Then we could choose what we wanted to do for the next hours. The four different possibilities were: hiking in the beautiful scenery, going to the biggest hot tub in Minnesota, canoeing on the lake or simply playing games.

For dinner we had meat, sausages, bread, salad, wild rice, green beans and pudding, which was really delicious.

After dinner we had a little talent show where some of us sang while others showed unique skills they had or told some funny jokes. For the next game, which was a kind of “SchnitzeljagdĒ, we had to slit up into three groups. The task was to use riddles to open boxes which had five locks. The evening ended with us singing with Mrs Casson, playing other games and talking when we were back in our little house.

The second morning started with breakfast at 9:30 am. We had a large variety of different foods! We wanted to be on time for the Mille Lacs Indian Museum, so we had to pack our things and get onto the bus by 10:30 am. The museum was divided into two rooms. One showed the Native Americanís life, their houses and what they did during a year. And in the other room we explored the exhibit while filling out a worksheet with our partner.

After the museum we drove back to the Northfield high school where our host families picked us up.

The trip was short but it allowed us to share amazing experiences with our exchange partners.

Hannah, Lara, Jana, Judith

School life in Northfield

Northfield Highschool is a school in Northfield, Minnesota USA. It is the exchange school of the MPG, and was home for the German exchange students this year for 2.5 weeks.


The schoolday starts at 7.51 am, except for Wednesdays, when school starts one hour later. Every day is structured in the same way, which means that the students have 7 lessons each 50 minutes long. However, after the fourth lesson, there is a 60-minute lunch break. Not only are the times always the same, but the schedule is also the same every day. This is the most obvious difference to the German school system, followed by the half annual change of almost all the subjects. Another huge difference is the holidays, which are more coherent in the USA. This means instead of several short holidays, they have fewer but longer vacations like the three months summer holidays.

School life for Americans

After some conversations with students from the NHS about their school life, we learned that many of them criticize that the school life is very stressful, and that they would like to learn more about the subjects they enjoy. This is because they often have to work for subjects they donít like. In Germany and in almost any educational system there is the exact same problem.

The opinions of the NHS students about the German school system came down to two main stand points. One states that the German school system works on a wider range of subjects, with more variety every day, resulting in more excitement. On the other hand, the topics in German schools do not build on each other from day to day.


In the US the extracurriculars play a way more important role than in Germany. In Germany, there are many clubs for sport activities, music, etc. where many people go to. In America these clubs rarely exist and most sports or other activities are part of the school life. The NHS Raiders - the name of all sport teams at NHS - make up the centre of the school spirit, which is a great thing to experience.

Luca and Jan

Amerikaner am Max

15 amerikanische Austauschschülerinnen und vier Schüler aus North Field, Minnesota weilen mit ihren Deutschlehrerinnen Kathy Kopseng und Katie Casson für gut zwei Wochen am MPG. Die Delegation des Max war bereits im Oktober in die Vereinigten Staaten gereist. Die Gruppe wurde von Schulleiter Christoph Bohn und der Organisatorin auf deutscher Seite, Englischlehrerin Katrin Reinkunz, in der Aula empfangen.

Aktuelles vom USA-Austausch 2016

Einige erste Impressionen vom diesjährigen USA-Austausch, insbesondere aus New York. Der USA-Austausch, an dem Schülerinnen und Schüler aus den Klassen 10 und 11 teilnehmen, wird von den Kolleginnen Reinkunz und Brachat begleitet. Nach dem Aufenthalt in New York ging es dann weiter nach Northfield.

Ein erster Bericht:

New York City the city that never sleeps

We arrived at the airport of Newark at one pm. After immigration we waited for our shuttle and we went to the hostel. It looked really great. We walked in Riverside Park to the university of Columbia and back to the hostel. We were very tired because of the jetlag. After breakfast we took the subway to the National History Museum. Maybe you know it from the movie „Nachts im Museum“. In Central Park there was a run for breast cancer. We walked around and went to Fifth Avenue, a big expensive shopping street. In front of the Trump Tower we met the Cowboy in underwear and took pictures with him. Our group went to the Rockefeller Center and we saw the ice rink of the famous American Christmas movies. After that, we went to the Grand Central train station to eat lunch. It looked very impressive. Next we visited the United Nations and we went to Times Square. We had a little bit of time for shopping. In the evening we watched the musical „School of Rock“. It`s about a rockband member, who becomes a teacher. On our last day we took the subway to the One World Trade Center. Itís so big. We walked through Wall Street to the ferry and went by the Statue of Liberty. After lunch we went to Brooklyn Bridge and took lots of pictures. We had enough time to walk in Highline Park. At the end we went to the Empire State Building in the dark. You have a great view there.

Katharina Ehret Sofia-Marie John

Weekend trip to Duluth

Our trip began on Saturday morning at 8 am, with a two-hour bus ride to the "North West Company Fur Post". It is an open-air museum about the Native Americans and their trade with the English people. It was very interesting, because we could try to make fire on our own. The next stop was at the Thompson Hill, which provided a good view over the Lake Superior and the river. Then we went downtown in Duluth and we visited the Marine Museum. In the late afternoon we checked into the hotel. There we had a short break to go to our rooms. After dinner, we went to the haunted ship, a ship full of scary monsters, clowns and crazy people. It was scary and even the ones who werenít scared, had fun watching the great costumes and masks. We went back to the hotel at 10 pm, some people played cards or went to the pool. Others just relaxed after the exhausting day. On Sunday morning we had a good American breakfast and we checked out at 9 am. Our first activity was a tower with a good view over Duluth. The next stop was the impressive "Glensheen Mansion", a villa of a rich and famous family. The villa was full of paintings and old furniture. Then we ate lunch in downtown Duluth and we went on to the "University of Minnesota Duluth" (UMD). It's a very big and impressive university with many sports activities and great campus buildings. But it's very expensive too: about 25.000$ per year. After a great weekend trip, we headed home to Northfield.

Jasmin With, Sandra Kaiser

Giving Presentations in English

For our exchange to the USA we had to prepare presentations about different topics, which we wanted to present in the classes at the American High School. The presentations are about daily life of Germans, for example German music, teen life or German traditions. We are not only giving the presentations in the German classes, but also in different classes, for example French and Physics. When you are standing in front of an English-speaking class, itís a very different feeling to speak to all of them than only to your exchange partner. Youíre getting nervous, because everyone is listening to your German English-skills. After the presentation the students can ask questions. In every class they ask many questions, some of them are different, but there are also questions which are repeated every time, for example how many languages do we learn or differences between the German and the American teen life. The students and the teachers are very interested in Germany and the German way of living, for example in politics, the refugee crisis and the location of Germany. To conclude you can say that itís a good experience. The presentations improve your skills in speaking English without notes.

Written by CharlotteMaestracci, Kristin Rheinberger

Day trip to the Twin Cities (St. Paul/Minneapolis)

Hello everyone, on Tuesday 25th October we were on a day trip to St. Paul and Minneapolis. It was a very interesting and exciting experience. Our first stop was St. Paul cathedral. The cathedral of Saint Paul was built in 1904, but it looks older than it really is. So you find a lot of baroque and classical themes there. Afterwards, we visited the state capitol of Minnesota, a big marble dome. The capitol houses most of the Minnesota government, like the Minnesota supreme court and the governor. Our next stop was in the Minnesota history center. It presents a lot of interesting exhibitions, like a tornado room, where you feel as if you were inside of a tornado, or a rebuild iron mine. The interactive games were very funny so we enjoyed our time there! After we had visited the Minnesota Historical Society, our bus driver drove us to the twin city of St. Paul: Minneapolis. We passed by the University of Minnesota and left the bus to walk over the Stone Arch Bridge, a pedestrian and cycle bridge. By walking on the bridge, we crossed the Mississippi River and saw the US Bank Stadium, the home stadium of the Minnesota Vikings. Furthermore, we saw a mill which was partly destroyed by an explosion. Minneapolis is famous for mills. On the other side of the Mississippi River, we went by bus again and drove to downtown Minneapolis. In downtown Minneapolis, we had time for shopping and walking to the different skyscrapers. We did this in a special way. Minneapolis is famous for its skywalks, so we took this possibility to get to the different shops in the different skyscrapers. One and a half hours later, we went back to our bus, and our bus driver drove us to the Minnehaha Park, a park which was named by native Americans. We were impressed by the big waterfall which is sometimes frozen in winter. After twenty minutes, we had to return to the bus to drive to the Apple Valley, which is not far from Minneapolis. There we ate dinner, different dishes, depending on the choices we had made earlier. After enjoying an excellent dinner, we went back to Northfield. At the end of the day, everyone could say that he had a very interesting day.

The text was written by Fabian Neumeister and Paul Suetterlin

School life in America

During the exchange program we visited the Northfield Highschool for two and a half weeks. In the morning the school starts at 7.51am, but on Wednesdays it starts at 8.51am. After each class the students have five minutes to change the room, because every teacher has his own classroom. The school corridors are very complicated and because of 1300 students, it is very full. Every day the students have the same classes. One class is 50 minutes long. But on Wednesday the classes are only 40 minutes, because the school starts one hour later. Every day the school ends at 2.45pm. In fourth hour the students have their lunch. Itís divided in three parts. Itís called 4a, 4b, 4c. All the students have a different schedule. Every semester they can choose which subjects they want to learn. Here in the Highschool the students are allowed to use their phones and everybody has an iPad with which they learn. In our opinion, the class isn't as strict as in Germany. The teachers are more relaxed and they have a less formal relationship to the students. In America you do your hobbies directly after school and in school. You play your kind of sport for your school and not for your club like in Germany. Most students ride to school and back with the famous yellow school busses. But some people come by car or walk.

Emely Mallach, Joline Weis


Northfield is a city, located in the south of Minnesota. The city compromises an area of 8.61 square miles (= 22.30 km²) and has a population of 20007. The Cannon river also flows through Northfield. Northfield was founded in 1855 by John W.. In 1866 the first college, the “Carleton CollegeĒ was founded and 8 years later (1874) the St. Olaf College was also founded. These colleges had a big influence in the development and structure of Northfield. On 7th September 1876 the Jesse James gang tried to rob the first bank of Northfield. The gang failed and that was the end of the serial robbings of the Jesse James gang. Nowadays the people of Northfield celebrate this day as the “Defeat of Jesse JamesĒ. Northfield has 6 public schools: four primary schools, one middle school and one high school with a total of 3800 students. In addition there are also 3 private schools. The Carleton and the St. Olaf colleges are both in Northfield and thatís a reason why on average the population is very young.

An article by Lea Frankenhauser and Vivien Kramer

Besuch der Amerikaner 2015

Vom deutschen Essen angetan

Junge Amerikaner am „Max“ zu Gast

Der USA-Austausch des Max-Planck-Gymnasiums feiert ein kleines Jubiläum: Seit 20 Jahren besteht eine Partnerschaft zur Northfield High School in Minnesota und bereits 10 Mal fanden gegenseitige Besuche statt. Gerade sind zwölf amerikanische Schülerinnen und Schüler und ihre beiden Lehrerinnen Deborah Winkelman und Kathleen Casson für drei Wochen in Lahr. Sie kommen aus Northfield bzw. Farmington Minnesota im Mittleren Westen der USA. Einige von ihnen haben deutsche Vorfahren. Im Mittelpunkt des Austausches steht das Kennenlernen des deutschen Alltagslebens in Schule und Gastfamilien, wo sie ausschließlich Deutsch sprechen (sollen). Doch auch in ihrer Freizeit bekommen die Gäste viel geboten: drei Tage in München, ein Wochenende am Bodensee sowie Tagesausflüge in den Hochschwarzwald und nach Straßburg haben bleibende Eindrücke hinterlassen. Überdies kommt das deutsche Essen in den Gastfamilien offenbar gut bei Jugendlichen an.

Foto: Die amerikani-schen Austauschschüler mit ihren Lehrerinnen und deutschen Partnern vor der Meersburg am Bodensee.

USA-Austausch 2014