Home » German Stories » Katharina Kamphues

Katharina Kamphues, ’22

Miss Hall’s School, Massachusetts

Katharine Kamphues German Exchange Student

Hello! My name is Katharina or – as my American friends like to call me – Katie. I am currently attending Miss Hall’s School, an allgirls boarding and day school located in Pittsfield, Berkshire County in Western Massachusetts. My story talks about the cultural aspect of my ASSIST year, how I shared mine and how it sometimes also collided with others.

What are your expectations of your ASSIST year?

When I first got here, I tried to expect nothing, knowing that each ASSIST experience is unique. Looking back, it can be said that my hope to have a memorable experience and to dive into American Culture was significantly exceeded. Without a doubt, I can call the past months I spent at Miss Hall’s life-changing and door-opening. By becoming more ‘woke’ my own perception of the world has definitely changed.

What is the biggest surprise of your ASSIST year so far?

There are so many little moments I like to collect in a jam jar. But what surprises me over and over again, is how similar and different the USA and Germany are at the same time. It is hard to describe, but sometimes these two worlds seem to be the same, and one second later they are colliding. Cultural differences are something you can learn from and smile about many times.

What is a new challenge for you and how are you approaching it?

At the very beginning, it was definitely not easy and often overwhelming for me to get used to a new environment and culture. What helped me a lot, was to go out there with a curiosity for the world and the ambition to learn.

What has been a particularly unforgettable moment for you so far during your ASSIST year?

One moment I will probably never forget is Saint Nicholas Day, which the four Germans of Miss Hall’s organized with the Dean of Students. In the early morning of December 6th, before anyone else was awake,we filled the shoes we asked everyone to put out the night before with a mandarin, chocolate and a little note. We all had fun sharing our culture and putting a smile on everyone’s face in the morning.

What does being selected for an ASSIST Scholarship mean to you?

It is a great honor for me to be part of the ASSIST class of 2022 and the Miss Hall’s community. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to share, learn and grow as a person.

What do you think is special about ASSIST?

With ASSIST, every Scholar enjoys their own unforgettable experience in the United States. All the schools are amazing, it is hard to find school spirit like that elsewhere.

Why should people support ASSIST?

ASSIST allows teenagers like me to discover the great wide world and come back with stories that enrich everyone who hears them.

What else? Anything we forgot to ask?

Sharing my own story and experiences with others and donating to support future ASSIST classes.