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Sprachreise Chicago 2014/15

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Woodlands Academy of the Sacred Heart – Here we come!

Day 1: Saturday, March 7th
Having been on an 8 hour flight, we finally arrived at Chicago O’ Hare and two school buses from Woodlands Academy brought us to the boarding school where the boarders couldn’t have greeted us any friendlier. We had dinner and then we settled down in our rooms, which we would share with the boarders for the next 7 days.
Day 2: Sunday, March 8th
Today we went to downtown Chicago by train and it was just amazing seeing all those impressive skyscrapers. After mass at Chicago Cathedral we had huge deep-dish pizzas at a wonderful restaurant called Gino's. They were delicious and even stars like Leonardo Dicaprio had already been there. In the afternoon we walked to the Bean and visited the Art Institute.
Day 3: Monday, March 9th
It was our first day at school, and every single one of us was totally excited. The students and teachers of Woodlands Academy welcomed us in the chapel and then we spent a really great day together. Well, school life is different here in the US, for example, the students go from classroom to classroom and the desks (that is chairs) come only in one piece, which I really like a lot. In addition to that, the lessons last for only 40 minutes and the students have the same 8 subjects every day.
Day 4: Tuesday, March 10th
Today we went downtown again, starting at the Field Museum, which is a wonderful natural history museum. After having seen two interesting exhibitions, we had lunch at the Corner Bakery and then we took an architectural tour through Chicago, looking at all the skyscrapers, starting with the oldest one in the Windy City.
Day 5: Wednesday, March 11th
After school, we went to ´Feed my Starving Children´, where you pack dry food for children in need around the world. This community activity is a lot of fun, because it is set up as a contest counting which group packs most bags. All in all, it felt great to dedicate one´s freetime to a good cause.
Day 6: Thursday, March 12th
Today we had our first presentations about different Austrian topics and it was a wonderful experience to see the emotions and feedback from the students. After school we all went to a shopping mall near Lake Forest and we all bought lots of things like books, Apple gadgets or clothes.
Day 7: Friday, March 13th
In the morning the whole school of Woodlands Academy attended an assembly about Internet Safety. A policeman came and talked to all of the students about the danger of cyber bullying and how to fight it. At 5.30 pm all the Austrian students and our future American host sisters were invited to the Slaughter family for a pizza party which was a lot of fun!
Day 8: Saturday, March 14th
We had a great last breakfast at the boarding school and after saying bye to our boarding school roomates, the American host families picked us up. They are all really lovely and most of them took us downtown to see St.Patrick’s Parade. The river was dyed green and all the people were just crazy.
Day 9: Sunday, March 15th
Together with our host families we got to see wonderful things like the Aquarium, a show of the ´Blue Man Group´, a Chicago Bulls basketball game, a Maroon 5 concert, malls or 360° views from the Hancock Tower and the Willis Tower. It freaked us out a bit when we were standing on the glass floor looking down on the streets below - it was such an amazing experience!
Day 10: Monday, 16th
Today was the first day of school after a spectacular weekend, so we had to get up early again! Everyone was a bit sleepy, however, our presentations about Austrian traditions, architectural styles, sports, music, etc. went well.
Day 11: Tuesday, March 17th
Today was St. Patrick's Day and we knew that everybody celebrates the saint in Chicago, but we never knew it was that big. At school it was a casual day so all the students wore green. Even the school lunch was typically Irish and green drinks were served.
Day 12: Wednesday, March 18th
We had an interesting school day and at 3 pm we took the train to Highland Park which is a small town close to Woodlands Academy. We spent some hours there and we found it stunning how nice the people were – they were always smiling at everyone.
Day 13: Thursday, March 19th
Today we took the school bus to St. Malachys, which is a partner school of the Woodlands Academy. The school is located in the inner city of Chicago, which is one of the poorest districts in the US. First we played with the kids from kindergarten and then we gave presentations about Austria and taught German to the students of junior high school. Both, the little kids and the older ones were very interested in getting to know us and asked a lot of questions. In the evening we had our last dinner with our families and then had to pack our suitcases.
Day 14: Friday, March 20th
After two impressive, intense and interesting weeks we finally flew back home to Austria. So finally I want to say thank you to Sister Gudrun, Mr. Pitschieler and all the others that made this awesome trip possible.
 
The Chicago Language Trip Group, Sacred Heart Grammar School Vienna, Austria