Students from Deutschland return home

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Exchange Students

               Imagine having the opportunity to get on a plane and become emerged in a different culture. Well, in case you haven’t noticed, we’ve had the tremendous honor of hosting German exchange students, and I had the opportunity to interview a handful of them. Daniel Voitl, Lennart Strochle, Natalie Hoosmann, Giulia Siegloch, Milena Strumper, Marius MorLock, Lukas Kresser, Lorenz Williges, and Sina Glaser were the group that I got to talk to, along with two of the hosts; Mariah Benjamin and Elizabeth Eckstrand.

I started by going through the motions of questions like ‘how are you liking our school, Pittsburgh, and your host families.’ They all seemed to agree that they like it, but the work here is a lot easier and it’s not as organized as their school in Germany. They also said that back in Germany there aren’t very many big cities, but they like the change.

I then asked them what they liked to do in Germany for fun. The majority said that they like to sleep (which I can definitely agree with, sleep is wonderful). However, a few out of that group also stated that the drinking age in Germany is 16, so, their Friday nights are sometimes spent out at bars and clubs and whatnot.

To wrap everything up I asked them if they had anything to say to you guys as readers, and they wanted to clear up a few stereotypes. The first one, which is pretty funny, is that they don’t always wear leather pants. I’ve never heard that stereotype before, but they said that they wear them only on certain occasions like Oktoberfest. The last stereotype that was cleared up was one that I have seen/heard, and was quite appalled actually, but they wanted to make sure that it is crystal clear that hearing the word Germany/Germans should not conjure up images of Hitler or the Third Reich in general.

As quickly as they came, they left on Thursday (11/10/11) but we will always welcome them back for years to come!

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