Germans experience American lifestyle

Continuing a tradition of ten years, exchange students from the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Gymnasium in Germany visited America to collaborate with the Annandale singers. The German exchange students arrived on Oct. 26 and met their host families, who they would be staying with for about two weeks. In most cases, the host families consisted of members of the AHS choral program.

The AHS Choral Department and the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Gymnasium had a combined choral performance at Cornerstone Church on Thursday, Nov. 4. The students attended many rehearsals in order to learn all the music and be prepared for the concert in only a matter of two weeks.

The German chorus students also participated in many activities while visiting America, including attending a Wizards game, going to the last AHS football game and touring parts of Washington, D.C. They were also able to shadow their AHS student host for two days at school by attending all of their classes with them.

The exchange students quickly adapted to the American way of life. Some of the students had traveled to America more than once, while others were visiting for their first time.

“America is much bigger; the whole [country], the buildings. It’s bigger than Germany,” freshman exchange student Ronja Neubert said. “School starts earlier in America; ours starts at 8:45 a.m. The class periods in America are longer. The whole school system is different.”

There are many differences between German and American cultures, as noted by the German students when they came to America. “There are so many rules that we don’t understand. The laws in Germany are looser,” Neubert said. “My favorite thing about America is the big shopping malls, which we don’t have in Germany. [American] clothes are also cheaper.”

“The people here, they’re very nice and polite,” freshman exchange student Sebastian Huber said.

“My favorite thing is to meet all the people because I have very good friends here and a wonderful family here,” Weirether, who has participated in the exchange program twice now, said. “It’s very amazing to see them again.”

The German students departed for New York City early in the morning on Nov. 8, where they planned to go sightseeing. The students planned to visit Boston on Nov. 12 before returning to Germany as well. AHS choral students will also have the opportunity to go to Germany during the summer as another part of the exchange program.

“The German exchange was one of the best experiences in my life,” said AHS senior Alay Tedla. “I made awesome long-distance friends and we had great moments together. I’m going to miss them.”