Have you noticed any new faces around the High School lately? Faces from other countries? Woodland Park has accepted many different foreign exchange programs that allow students from other countries to come and study here for the school year. (Why they’d want to come here of all places, I cannot say.) This year, these programs have welcomed two exchange students from Germany; named Christian and Jannik. They are both currently staying with approved host families. The program allows them to stay here for the entirety of one school year.
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to talk to Christian about his experiences in America. I asked him several questions about how he was adjusting and what he found odd about our Country. The responses he gave were very enlightening. Firstly, he clarified many common misconceptions; mainly, that English is the most difficult language to learn. As it turns out, learning it is really easy. It’s actually German that’s very difficult to learn. Christian said that he had an advantage, however, he was a native speaker. Next, we compared American music and German music. We both agreed that the song “99 luftballons” by Nena proves that German music is better that American music. The next thing that I asked him was what he thought the dumbest thing Americans do was. He said that it was the fact that we insisted on putting everything in plastic packaging. You have to admit, it is pretty stupid that we do that. But one of the most interesting things that he shared with me was the fact that he got an hour-long lunch back in Germany. His daily class schedule consisted of three block-length classes with an hour in between each one. You’d take that over what we got here any day, wouldn’t you? The last thing we discussed was the sight-seeing locations that were in America (when the school year is over, Christian will have the opportunity to go sightseeing with his parents).We talked about the national monuments that were in America, and while I thought that the grand canyon was the coolest one, Christian thought that Yellowstone was. Upon further debate, I was inclined to agree.
Then the bell rudely interrupted our conversation, so we were forced to say Adieu, which means farewell in english.
To conclude, The cultural differences between America and Germany is really fascinating. You could live your entire life without seeing the world of someone who lives in another country, and not be affected. But if you can take some time to learn more about other cultures, you can learn more about yourself and your surroundings. Having these students here is an amazing addition to our High School, and I hope that everyone has the pleasure of getting to know them.