Erleben neuer Kulturen; German Exchange Students Visit State High


German exchange student Tim Gad and the senior hosting him, Daniel Cullin, look over homework during study hall. The German exchange students were at State High from September 18th to October 4th and attended classes with their hosts. “For a few weeks, it’s like having a sibling, a twin sibling, where they’re doing everything you’re doing and with you almost all the time. It’s really cool because you always have someone you can bounce ideas off of and make jokes with,” Cullin said.

Sarah Ambrose, Staff Writer

From September 18th to October 4th, German exchange students from Hanover, Germany will be in our school staying with host families. The exchange program serves as a learning opportunity for both the exchange students and the hosts. “I’m getting better at German. I’m realizing I can convey a lot more ideas than I thought I could. I’m also learning a lot more about life in Hanover,” junior Abbie LaPorta said. LaPorta is hosting an exchange student, Josi Madry, for the first time this year and would like to do so again next year.

The exchange students are coming from a school that is much smaller than State High, with only 900 students across eight grades. “We have a smaller school. Not so many things, less people, less open space,” Madry said. “It’s really cool that you can drive school buses to school; we don’t get that. And we don’t have lunch- we have school from eight to one.” Madry also said that coming here can be hard, but it’s nice to see how Americans live.

Daniel Cullin, senior, who has hosted an exchange student for the past three years, learns new life skills each time he hosts. Cullin is hosting Tim Gad this year.“Naturally, I’ve learned general people skills. Being able to switch between languages is very useful. The experience of being able to communicate between someone with a different background is really important and it’s interesting to see how we can do that,” Cullin said.

The exchange program is also a great opportunity for German students to experience the culture of the United States. “It’s very nice compared to Germany. During the time I was here, it was another feeling. The mood of the people is good and the teachers are really funny,” Gad said. In addition to attending classes with their hosts, the exchange students went on trips to Washington D.C., New York City, Niagara Falls, and helped German Club celebrate Oktoberfest, a festival in celebration of German culture. The students also went on tours of an Amish farm, Beaver Stadium, and Penn’s Cave to get a glimpse of local landmarks and culture. “It’s a pretty good chance to visit another country and have a look at the high school and just get a new view of the school system of this part of the world and seeing something new,” exchange student Celine Fourmont said.

Lastly, the German exchange program offers students the opportunity to make lasting friendships with students from another country. “It’s really cool because you always have someone you can bounce ideas off of and make jokes with,” Cullin said. “It’s also cool to see how you can adapt to living with someone who at first was a stranger and soon becomes a close friend.”