German exchange students recap their year

Mary Russell, Spotlight Editor

Jakob da Silva (11)

Q: What are some fun memories that you have experienced this year?

A: Two activities that I did were football and wrestling. State wrestling was pretty fun because I came into wrestling one month late, and I have never wrestled before. When I came into sub regionals I bet coach Anderson a Gatorade that I would make it to state. He still owes me a Gatorade.

Q: How do you feel about having to return to Germany?

A: When I thought about coming here from Germany, I wanted to go back to Germany for sure. But when I leave here now, I am not sure that I want to go back. Living here was probably one of the greatest experiences of my lifetime. But, of course, I miss my mom, I miss my brothers, and I miss my friends. They are all talking about a party celebrating me when I come.

Q: How has America been different from Germany?

A: The cars are different and the food is different. The school system is different; it is more open for you to choose what you want to do. It was a little dark the last month and rainy which was very different and I didn’t expect that, especially when I came here it was all sunny in August. I thought that it would get a quick spring and nice weather but that didn’t happen. I enjoy playing school sports here because most teachers know what our coaches expect of us. The coaches get you as a player and they train you and the teachers know that you are an athlete. Coach Valach always talked about learning and studying hard so that you are a good example for others: a good student and a good athlete. It’s awesome to have school sports because it is an opportunity for people to go every day after school to be with their friends. Because you see them in school and then in sports there is a strong connection with friends. In Germany, I play on a football club and none of my school friends play there so sure you get more friends but not as strong of a friendship.

 

Malina Steinbrecher (11)

Q: What are some fun memories that you have experienced this year?

A: Prom was a really fun memory as well as the football games and the team spirit at Liberty. Once, we were outside in the front row at a football game and it was raining a lot. It was kind of bad but everyone was still enjoying the game a lot. We were all trying to be supportive and have fun.

Q: How do you feel about having to return to Germany?

A: I don’t know. I know that some point I am going to go back to Germany. It is kind of complicated because I am a senior at Liberty, and at that point when I leave the U.S. I am not going to go back to high school and have the same old life again. It is difficult. Yes, I am definitely ready to see my family again, but at the same time, I don’t want to leave yet.

Q: How has America been different from Germany?

A: It’s definitely how people are acting in society and how people see certain things. I think that a big difference is that people here are very open-minded, and this has made it really easy for me to be a new person at school but still enjoy my year here. I really like that about Americans. We don’t really have sports at our schools, so I definitely think that our team spirit and the system of sports being at schools is what makes German schools different. Student’s lives are more dependent on the school because they spend a lot of time with their friends there and the team spirit is pretty amazing. In German schools you basically just go to class, you leave, and you play sports and are in clubs and spend time with friends and you get to meet new people. When it comes to sports the school is definitely better because it makes it more meaningful. If there are so many supportive people behind you then you are more motivated to play a sport. I think this is way better and it brings students together, which is definitely a better thing than in German schools.