German exchange students share experiences

Exchange students from Germany came to Strath Haven to experience the lifestyle of the average American high schooler.

Kaitlyn Ho, Contributor

On September 9, 18 high school students from Germany stepped onto the Strath Haven High School campus for the first global exchange program since the pandemic.

What was going through their heads when they were hit by the bombardment of huge portion sizes, skyscrapers, and substandard pretzels that comprise America? 

“I really enjoy to go to school here,” said Luca Peter, one of the exchange students. “Because it’s more fun than in Germany. The teachers aren’t that strict like in Germany. The people are very friendly here and I enjoyed it.”

Sarah Djeffal, another one of the exchange students, agreed with Luca’s assessment.

“They’re just… you know, people you’ve just met, and they already, like, know your name,” Djeffal said. 

Though many knew the names of the students, some Strath Haven students seemed to be lacking in knowledge of Germany. 

“Some Americans thought that the German people live like the Amish people, but that’s not true,” Urs Liepold, an exchange student, recalled. “We got about the same life as here in America, but with healthier food and smaller cars.”

Food seemed to be a major difference separating the US and Germany.

“I had a pretzel from Auntie Anne’s on it, and it was disappointing. It was sweet and not crunchy and…disappointing.” said Lena Becker, another exchange student.

The exchange partners of the German exchange students will soon get their chance to visit Germany and examine the pretzel quality, among other differences, for themselves.

“The students who hosted will have the opportunity to be hosted by their exchange partners in Germany next summer,” German teacher Herr Paul said. “We will be in Germany for three weeks— two weeks with our hosts at Feodor Lynen Gymnasium in Planegg Germany, then we will travel around Germany for a week.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing what parts of the lifestyle in Germany are so different from America that there aren’t really American equivalents,” junior Joe Lynch, who will be traveling with the Strath Haven group, said. 

When the exchange students from Strath Haven go to Germany, they will be able to have a better understanding of the culture there from their own interactions with the German exchange students.