The Echo

German exchange students arrive at Park

Visitors anticipate new culture

Superintendent+Astein+Osei+greets+the+incoming+German+exchange+students+Jan.+29.
Superintendent Astein Osei greets the incoming German exchange students Jan. 29.

Superintendent Astein Osei greets the incoming German exchange students Jan. 29.

Grace Farley

Grace Farley

Superintendent Astein Osei greets the incoming German exchange students Jan. 29.

Devin Raynor

For visiting German exchange student Vanessa Albiez, the German American Partnership Program gave her an opportunity to follow her dream to visit the United States.

“I wanted to visit America, that’s a long dream for me,” Albiez said. “I love to travel around the world so it’s a great chance for me.”

According to Albiez, she’s excited to experience the life of a regular American family after visiting New York City.

“I thought we would go to New York so that we can see the skyline or something like that — so Manhattan,” Albiez said. “We were there already, (and) now I’m happy to see how the American family lives and how they go to school because it’s so different from Germany.”

Albiez’s host sibling senior Ethan Rickert, who is also hosting another student, said he planned outings with the German students to illustrate aspects of American culture.

“I’m planning on taking them to the Mall of America at least once so they can get that feeling and then probably just going out to dinner so they get that experience of an American dinner.”

German teacher Frau Fox said German students are interested in experiencing everyday American life.

“They’re curious. It’s like when we go there,” Fox said. “What to a normal German seems totally blasé and boring is exciting and new and different (in America).”

According to Rickert, the German students’ arrival is most exciting because it allows him to see friends he hasn’t seen in a long time.

“I would say just hanging out with friends I haven’t been with since June (is exciting),” Rickert said.

According to Albiez, she is interested to see how school life for American students differs from school life in Germany.

“In Germany we have so different classes, and that’s so interesting because here they have classes like photographing or something like that and that’s kind of different,” Albiez said. “Also how the family lives together and houses or something like that and when they do what (is interesting).”

Fox said visiting German exchange students are generally intrigued with how American schools function.

“They’re always pretty interested to see what’s happening at school,” Fox said. “They start English in kindergarten and so their English is really good. They get here and they’re sitting in 11th and 12th grade classes and most of them know exactly what’s going on. They’re interested to see what we’re talking about.”

Albiez said what she’s most excited to do in the United States constantly changes, but she currently looks forward to trying American food.

“I really don’t know because it always changes,” Albiez said. “I always wanted to eat special food here because in Germany there’s nothing like that.”

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German exchange students arrive at Park