Exchange students prepare to head home

Morgan Koehler and Roberto Matarazzo

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  • Greta (Germany)

   When Greta goes back to Germany, she wants to finish her final three years of high school in Germany. She says she might go to college, and she might come back to the United States. Once she is finished with her schooling, she is thinking about going into the music industry. She is thinking about performing or building instruments as some of her options.

   Greta loved experiencing what American schools are like. Her friends in Germany asked about her school, and she said she loved it. Greta enjoyed meeting people in America. “Americans are very open minded and friendly,” she said.

   One memorable moment Greta noted was her first band competition ever in a jazz festival in Shawno. She was named an outstanding soloist and she got the opportunity to perform with Eric Marienthal in February.

   Greta and Schwenke both managed the boys’ tennis team. They said they really enjoyed doing it.

   When Greta first arrived in America, she had a hard time communicating with others in English because she misunderstood a lot of words. She had to stop and think about the words she misunderstood. “I learned sometimes it’s really important to take a moment to think about what you’re doing next,” she said.

   Greta wants to bring some American ideas and habits with her back to Germany. Teachers in Germany don’t like seeing sweatpants, but they are allowed, so Greta plans on wearing them more. She is also going to bring home American recipes and music.

   Some things Greta will miss about America are the friends she’s made here and the food she ate at Taco Bell.

  • Pedro Saldanha (Brazil)

  Pedro, from Brazil, has just a semester left at high school and he is willing to go to college here in UW Stevens Point because he is dating a girl from Stevens Point.       Something he liked of Wisconsin is the weather and all the seasons, especially winter because he joined the snowboard team and he went to State (this was his first year snowboarding). I liked the dances, in my country we have dances but they are different.  I don’t think I am going to use any American habits in my home country. ‘In Brazil we have uniforms so even if i wanted to wear flip flops at school i can not.’

  •  Jana Schwenke (Germany)

   After Jana Schwenke goes back to Germany, she is going to complete her last three years of high school, go to college, and she is going to travel. She plans on visiting the friends she made in America. Schwenke wants to be an English teacher.

   Schwenke enjoyed three things about being in the U.S.: the food, the people, and the schools. One thing Schwenke enjoyed about American schools is that she got to choose which classes she enrolled in.

   One memorable moment for Schwenke was the Homecoming dance. “I wasn’t feeling well, but I danced anyway,” she said.

   Something Schwenke learned living in America was improving her personal social skills. She learned to speak English better and after the school year, she no longer has any problem speaking in front of people.

   Schwenke said that two things she would take home from Germany would be American recipes and the idea of wearing whatever she wanted in school, like sweatpants.

   Schwenke will miss eating cheese curds and eating ice cream at Briq’s.

  • Johanna Manz (Germany)

  Johanna, from Germany has 2 more years of high school, starting with all her hobbies again and thinking about what she is going to do after school because she doesn’t know if she wants to go to college yet.

  She really enjoyed the dances, infact Prom is one of her memorable moment.    She says that she liked how students have more freedom and that everyone is so independent. Johanna also liked that the school is very easy and that everyday after school she spent time with her friends. ‘ i learnt being self confident and independent and i learnt english.’

  During this year people gave her a nickname ‘jo’, and she said that she is going to let people use in Germany too. ‘I will miss the most my two best friends, my family and the dance studio.

  • Roberto Matarazzo (Italy)

  Roberto’s plans after going back in his home country is to finish school, he has one more year.      ‘I have a lots of things to do over the summer (get the license, find a job, travel with my friends around Italy, concerts and study to be prepared for next school year)’ he said.

  He likes the school so much, he says that is a pretty big school and there are a lot of activities, such as sports and clubs. ‘I did track and field and cross country and I’m in the boys and girls club.’ He also enjoyed that we each student has an iPad. ‘By the way I love Kahoot!’ One of his memorable moment is for sure the homecoming, it  was the beginning of his experience he didn’t know what was expecting him yet. The homecoming week was such a crazy week and he loved the evergreens spirit at the football games and at school with the dress up days (that they don’t have them in Italy), and the dance was literally crazy.

  He says that camping was fun too but the dances were awesome, especially the Prom.

  ‘We have dances like this in Italy but we have them in dance clubs and I think they’re very dangerous, there is a lot of people drinking and using drugs.’

  He learnt so many things, first of all he learnt about how hard is to live in another country and how different is our culture. During this year he also figured out a lot of things about himself. ‘I think I did a good job adapting in fact I revived an award for that. I changed a lot in a bad and good way and I can’t wait to go back in Italy to see my friends and family reaction.’ he said.

Roberto says that sometime on the next school year he will go at school with his flip flops, to expand some american habits (even if it’s a very weird thing to do in his country), ‘they will probably make fun of me but I don’t really care.’

  He will miss how people don’t care about what you’re wearing, and how people are less judgy. ‘I will also miss going out for junk food almost every day.’