Austausch USA

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. It’s 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 weren’t 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, it’s a very different feeling to speak to all of them than only to your exchange partner. You’re 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 it’s 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. It’s divided in three parts. It’s 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 College” 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 James”. 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 that’s 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

Hier die ersten Bilder der MPG-Schüler in den USA (Oktober 2014). Inzwischen haben die Schüler auch fleißig Artikel verfasst...

Our trip to New York

When we left Lahr at 6 o´clock in the morning, we couldn´t imagine how amazing the following days would be. After our 8 hour flight to Newark Airport, just next to New York, we had to walk through the special safety area for immigrants and after getting that done, we saw the Manhattan skyline for the first time through the windows of our shuttle bus to the hostel.

Arriving at the hostel, 4 pm north-east American time, everybody was glad to get a break and relax for a few minutes. But only half an hour later, we took the subway 1 to get to the Empire State Building. It was already dark when we arrived at the top but the view of the skyline was fantastic. There were millions of lights and the Time Square was blinking in the middle of the city.

After everybody had taken their photos and selfies, we made our way back to the hostel. Everybody was pretty exhausted after being awake for more than 20 hours. When we arrived at the hostel, we went to bed pretty soon to get some sleep and be ready for the next day. When we were lying in our beds everybody knew, that New York is something special and totally amazing.

After getting up on Sunday, which wasn´t too hard, we had a really great American breakfast with bagels, eggs, French toast and “monster” donuts which were really big.

We took the subway again and made our way heading to the famous “Natural History Museum”. When we arrived there, we were able to see the big dinosaur skeleton but we didn’t go into the other parts of the museum.

The weather was really good on Sunday so we went for a walk in the Central Park. We saw many squirrels and went to strawberry fields, the place, where John Lennon was shot.

When we left the Central Park, we made our way downtown to walk along Fifth Avenue and get to Time Square. There was a huge parade of the New York Police Department and the New York Fire Department that day so we listened to their music and watched the parade for a while. On our way, we saw The Grand Central Station and the Rockefeller Center. When we reached Time Square, we had some time to go shopping and walk around.

Two hours later we met up again and we had some dinner. After dinner we met in front of the theater to see a musical called “Chicago”. It was already dark when we came out of the theater, and everybody was really tired so we looked for a subway station and made our way home to the hostel. When we reached our station, the 103rd Street, everybody woke up again and we walked the last meters back to our hostel.

On Monday we had to get up pretty early to get the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty. Everybody was very excited to see the best known New York attraction. Also the Manhattan skyline looked really amazing.

Two hours later we took the ferry to Ellis Island to see the old immigration center of the United States of America. When we arrived there, we had about an hour to walk around and we saw the different steps of immigration, the immigrants had to go through. There was a lot of information and many different rooms so we didn´t have enough time to go through all of them. So we left Ellis Island and we took the ferry to get back to Manhattan.

When we arrived there, we made a stop at a market of many different cultures to have some lunch. After everybody ate too much, we walked to the brand new 9/11 memorial. There we had to pass the security check to get into the huge entry hall. Then we entered the memorial itself and we were pretty amazed. But to see all the videos and to hear the people cry was really shocking. All in all, it was really interesting and we got much information and background knowledge about the terror attack of 11th September 2001. Then we left Ground Zero to get to the Brooklyn Bridge to see a small part of New York at night.

The next morning everybody was sad to leave this amazing city but everybody was looking forward to see their exchange students and Northfield. After our United Airlines flight was two hours late we left Newark airport at 12.30 pm.

All in all, New York was an experience we will never forget and we´ll keep these memories forever.

Max Frankenhauser, Pascal Bruder


When we arrived in Northfield our exchange partners received us very friendly. In general you could say that all the people here in Minnesota are much friendlier than most of the people in Germany, the cashiers for example start a conversation and ask you how you are and how long you stay….
The city with 18.100 people is also as nice as the people who live here! Northfield was founded by John W. Northfield in 1855. We like “Northfield Downtown” the most because there are a lot of shops and restaurants. You can compare it to “Lahrer Innenstadt” but it looks really different (as you can see in the picture). In downtown there is also the best sandwich restaurant in the whole world! It's called "Hogan Brothers". We went there twice and the sandwiches taste awesome! Downtown there is also a cupcake store called "Cake Walk". It’s such a great store, not the biggest, but there are many cupcakes you can buy, and they also taste awesome!
In Northfield, the people don't live close to each other. Many people live like 20 minutes from school, or sometimes much more. So, for many kids it's really important to have a driver license at the age of 16. It would be great to have that in Germay!
In America people are very proud of their country, many people have an America flag in front of their houses, sometimes even more! The students are also very proud to be at their school. Everyone is wearing pullovers, t-shirts, sweatpants etc.; of the schoolteam "Raiders".; I think the reason is that students have their sport, hobbies  etc. in school.
It`s really like in all the American movies…everything is much bigger, for example: the cars, the supermarkets, the fields and farms,.. and everybody decorates their house to celebrate Halloween. It`s as big as carnival in Germany.
The weather in Northfield is also great! About 15 degrees and the sun shines most of the time. We're having a great time and are enjoying every second!

James-Younger Gang

It was September 7th 1876 when the James-Younger Gang attacked the First National Bank in Northfield, Minnesota. But Jesse and Frank James, Cole, Jim, Bob Younger, Bill Chadwell, Clell Miller and Charlie Pitts failed because Joseph Lee Haywood, an assistant cashier, refused to open the safe. When one of the robbers went inside the bank and asked Haywood to open the safe but he said it was time locked and therefore he couldn't open it, it was not true: there was a chronometer on the safe, it had not been set and the safe itself was unlocked.
Gang member Clell Miller, who was keeping watch on the street—which by this time was the site of a pitched gun battle between Northfield citizens and gang members—rode his horse back to the bank, dismounted, walked up to the door, and yelled inside for the gang members inside to hurry up. Within minutes, two of the gang members on the streets had been killed and others were seriously wounded. Gang member Cole Younger rode his horse to the bank and screamed for the others to come out.
The first outlaw inside the bank once again knocked Heywood to the floor. Frustrated, he fired a bullet into the floor near Heywood's head. The third outlaw ran outside with the bag of money, followed by the first. The second outlaw left last and noticed Heywood trying to stand. The outlaw went back, placed his pistol to Heywood's head and fired, killing him, and then left the bank.
The three outlaws who entered the bank are believed to be Frank James, Charlie Pitts, and Bob Younger.
The gang members managed to abscond with only 26.70 US$. The bank reportedly held over 12,000 US$ at the time of robbery.
Our tour guide from the Historical Society Northfield reenacted this story with a lot of enthusiasm and passion, he also included us into the role play which he prepared to tell us the story of the robbery. It was fun to listen to it!

Midori, Tobias, Sven

Weekend trip to Wisconsin Dells

On Saturday morning we (German and some American students) started our weekend trip to the Wisconsin Dells. We left Northfield at 7.30 am with our bus and on the way to Wisconsin we went to the Amish people. There we had a tour through the Amish village with a professional guide on our bus! He told us something about their lives and traditions. Sometimes the bus stopped and we could go outside to see their houses and how they live or we could buy some little souvenirs. Then we continued our trip to the hotel. The hotel at the Wisconsin Dells was very big. All 12 boys got one big suite and the girls got two suites because they were more people. After that we ate pizza and we could go to two big water parks. We had lots of fun because there were many different slides. At the end of the day we were very tired but happy. After a good breakfast we wanted to leave our hotel on time, but some clever boys closed the door and nobody was inside. And the problem was that the door was locked so we couldn’t go inside to our things.

But the hotel service opened it so we left the hotel at 10 am. Now we had a duck tour. This is a tour with a car which can drive on land and on water. So we drove on the Wisconsin River. This duck tour was very funny and we saw lots of animals. Then we drove on to the Eagle Center, but unfortunately no eagles flew in the sky. So we continued our trip and had lunch at the Great River Bluffs State Park. At 5 pm and a long trip we arrived in Northfield. It was a very nice weekend and we have to say a big thank you to our teachers for planning this trip!

Written by: Niklas Fehrenbach und Gabriel Weschle (Kl.10b)


American school life

If you know any American Highschool movies, then you can imagine what we are able to see here every day. Our days at Northfield Highschool are very interesting and also different than in Germany. Our first school day started with a ride with one of the yellow school buses. After the meeting with all the German students in the first lesson, everyone of us followed the exchange partner’s schedule. On the way to the classrooms you have to pay attention not to get lost, because the hall is very crowded. When you come into a classroom the first thing that catches your eye is that the whole room is decorated with things from the subject that is taught in this classroom. In America every teacher has their own room and the students have to move around. Another big difference is that the classrooms have a better technical equipment than in Germany. Every classroom has a projector and also every student has their own iPad which was very surprising for us. The relationship between teacher and student is also more like a friendship, that’s why the atmosphere in class is funny. The next day we noticed that we have the same schedule as the day before, so we found out that the schedule repeats itself daily and not weekly. Also, we figured out that there are some subjects we don’t have in Germany, for example: health, backing and mythology. In the evening we went to a football game and it was very exciting to see it in real life and not only in a movie. It was like we had imagined it; with cheerleaders and a big orchestra.

The atmosphere was like in a stadium: the whole crowd supported their team by clapping and singing. All in all, sport is a very important part of American school life. We enjoy being at school with our exchange partners and seeing all the differences between the German and the American “way of learning”.

Caroline Schandl, Jennifer Kramer, Jacqueline Weschle


Trip to the Twin Cities

We visited the Twin Cities Minneapolis and St Paul on Tuesday, the 21st of October. They are called “Twin Cities” because they are next to each other. A typical yellow school bus, which everybody knows from American movies, took us there. That was already very exciting for us, the Germans. First, we went to the Capitol building. Mr Dahle who is a teacher at Northfield Highschool works there half the year between January and May as a politician. So, we got a “behind-the-scenes”-tour by his assistant Brian. It was just a little bit difficult for us to understand because he talked very fast. But the building was very impressive with its marble pillars. In the basement there was a room for eating. It was made up like a German “Gasthaus”. It was funny for us to see that there were German sayings on the wall.

After we had visited the Minnesota history museum next, which was not a “normal” museum, because there was for example a tornado room where you could feel as if you were in a tornado, we drove to a bridge across the Mississippi-River. By the way, it has its source in Minnesota. As we walked across the bridge to the Guthrie Museum, we could see the skyline of Minneapolis. Then there was some time for shopping! We went to downtown Minneapolis where the skyscrapers are. It was especially great to walk through the skyways. They exist because of the cold weather in winter. So people won’t have to go outside. On our way to the restaurant for dinner we stopped twice. Our first stop was the sculpture garden. There is the famous sculpture of a cherry on a spoon. We took some funny pictures with it. Finally we reached the restaurant to have dinner. It was a barbeque restaurant. We had for example chicken and mashed potatoes, or a veggie burger with potato salad. We were also able to refill our glasses as often as we wanted to, which was great. It was a interesting trip and we got to know Minneapolis, the capital of Minnesota, which is only one hour away from Northfield.

Maren, Elisa, Karen



Aktuell: USA-Austausch 2012

Nach einer über 25 Stunden langen und sehr anstrengenden Anreise sind alle gut in Northfield / USA angekommen und besuchen seit gestern die Schule dort. Unsere Schüler/-innen scheinen sich in den Familien wohl zu fühlen und gewöhnen sich auch langsam an die Zeitumstellung. Bisher läuft also alles perfekt...

In Kürze werden dann aktuelle Berichte vom Austausch eingestellt!

K. Reinkunz & M. Tröndle

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2. Bericht vom USA Austausch

29th October 2010 / Twin-cities St. Paul & Minneapolis
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Our trip to the USA

At 8 am on Monday, 25th October, we met at the train station in Offenburg in order to catch the ICE to Frankfurt airport.

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USA Austausch

23 Schueler des Max-Planck-Gymnasiums aus den Klassen 10 und 11 gehen zur Zeit in Northfield zur Schule, wo sie mit ihren amerikanischen Partnern den Unterricht besuchen oder ihre in Deutschland vorbereiteten Praesentationen ueber Deutschland auf Englisch darbieten.

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10 Jahre USA-Austausch: Northfield High School – Max-Planck-Gymnasium

Fast hätten wir vergessen die Öffentlichkeit zu informieren von einer Tatsache, die uns einfach schon selbstverständlich vorkommt: Unsere Freunde aus Minnesota sind mal wieder hier.

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Max-Planck-Straße 12 - 77933 Lahr
Tel: 07821/91950 - Fax: 07821/919525

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