Lebanon High School is fortunate enough this year to have foreign exchange students from Bocholt, Germany. Maren Franitza and Magnus Strughold came to the United States after spending a year with Lebanon junior, Julia Garrard.
Foreign exchange students have to adjust to not only a new school but a new culture. School systems vary between countries and even the minor details that we seem as normal, can be a whole new concept.
“In Germany, we do not have school sports, it’s all clubs. It’s very expensive, but I do play football and basketball. I hope to play this year on the basketball team,” said Magnus.
Germany does not have sports within their school systems. In fact, they do not have any extracurricular activities within their school. There are no dances, including Prom, no clubs and no sports. Not only the extracurricular activities differ but also the school system in general.
“Homework is not very important. Our ranking system makes it easy to help those who did not do their homework and also homework is not collected. The teachers never have set plans and do not have what [Americans] call standards to teach by. It’s not enforced,” said Maren.
Both Magnus and Maren were both shocked to see that American schools have strict dress codes.
“All the boys wear tall Nike socks, it’s weird. We wear short socks if we wear any. And crop tops are the usual style. I’ve never seen so many sweatpants either, we don’t wear them,” said Maren.
As new students they both have to adjust to a new school and a new culture. American ways are much different than German culture and Magnus and Maren are slowly adjusting to Lebanon High School.