German exchange students say “hallo!” to Liberty

Karinn Sytsma, Editor in Chief

If you saw senior football player Jakob da Silva walking down the hallway, you might just think he’s an ordinary student. But what you may not know is that da Silva is an exchange student from Nuremburg, Germany, visiting in the U.S. for a fourth time.
As an exchange student, da Silva has had the opportunity to experience the school systems in both countries.In Germany, grades six through twelve are consolidated into one school.
“We can’t choose classes until the eleventh grade,” da Silva said, “so we get forced to take classes in school. We have less homework, but in Germany we aren’t allowed to have open notes tests. We don’t know when quizzes are, or tests, but we don’t have as many quizzes as you do here.”
Right now he is living with the Weisbergs, a Liberty family. He is currently on his fourth stay in the U.S., as he has also visited New York, Illinois, and Florida. He continues to come back to the States for one main reason.
“I love America and I love high school,” da Silva said. “It has always been my dream to go to a high school so I made it come true.”


Imagine moving across the world to a different country, speaking another language, and living with another family. To junior Malina Steinbrecher, that’s just the life she’s living.
Coming all the way from Berlin, Germany, Steinbrecher arrived in the U.S. on August 20. When she touched down in Seattle, she noticed things were very different.
“The U.S. way bigger than Germany,” Steinbrecher said. “I live in a big city, but the buildings in Seattle are so much bigger. Americans are very proud of the country, with all their flags.”
Despite how much larger things seem to be in the U.S., Steinbrecher is enjoying her stay here.
“People are really open-minded” she said, “and everybody is really nice, so I feel very welcomed.”
Steinbrecher also noticed that Americans are different from Germans, not just with their attitudes but also with their curiosity.
“In Germany, if there was a foreign student, nobody would be open,” she said. “Everybody is interested here, asking lots of questions.”