Hi. My name is Anna Koehler, I am 22 years old and I am this year’s Sister Cities exchange intern from Ulm, Germany. I recently finished my first internship at the KNUJ Radio station and I will be working at The Journal until Sept. 28. I am a university student studying English and Rhetoric in Tubingen, Germany. In addition to studying, I work as a tutor for writing speeches and public speaking. In my free time, I like to paint, read and do voluntary work for the local Ulm/Neu-Ulm Leo Club, the youth organization of the Lions. Furthermore, I have a keen interest in music, languages, and global politics and always like to educate myself further in these fields. My parents both work in the social sector, with my dad being a nursing home administrator and my mom being a teacher. I also have one younger brother, who currently works as a paramedic. All of us enjoy travelling, which we often do together.
While in Minnesota, I was able to have many experiences and memories, as well as observing the Midwestern American lifestyle. For example, it was a great experience for me to participate in the 4th of July celebration at Turner Hall and the Bavarian Blast in New Ulm, where I talked to many New Ulm locals and met a lot of new and very friendly people. Not only was it great to get in contact with the locals and to talk to them, but it was also great to see how some of the German traditions I have seen at home have been preserved in this community.
I was further able to visit Denver, the Rocky Mountains and Chicago with my host parents while here in the US. For example, I really enjoyed hiking in the Rockies or standing at the shores of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Another thing that I really liked was seeing the lakes in Minnesota. I have visited with my host parents for example Lake Francis, which is relatively close to New Ulm, and the Two Inlets Lake in northern Minnesota close to Itasca State Park. Since we do not have as many lakes, and especially not big lakes, in Germany, this was definitely an adventure for me.
I was also able to attend a Vikings and a Twins game. Baseball and American Football are both not very common in Germany, so it was interesting to not only be exposed to these sports, but to get to know them in their country of origin, too. Since I have — through some internships I did during my studies — a background in journalism, I am especially glad that I was able to attend a tour through the press box at the Twins Stadium and to see how they produce radio and TV broadcasts there. At the game, our group tried to meet the German player of the Twins team, Max Kepler, too, but unfortunately it did not fit in his schedule. Nonetheless, he sent me a signed baseball, which now rests in a little display case on my dresser.
My work experiences in the US have been very positive so far and I am very glad I was able to work at KNUJ, to meet many friendly and helpful people there and learn about journalism in the US. Therefore, I am beyond excited to see another side of journalism and to learn more about the newspaper work here at The Journal.