DHS welcomes foreign exchange students

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Emma Bascom, Opinion Editor

While some may think that being the new kid is tough, this isn’t always the case. De Soto High School foreign exchange students Timo Zauhmuller and Sam Lee weren’t worried about being the new kid at school.

Coming from across the globe, one would imagine the stereotypical new kid worries would not only be present, but intensified.

“I didn’t have any worries coming in. Even staying in a new house with a new family… I knew it would be different, but I didn’t think it would be bad,” Zauhmuller said.

Zauhmuller came to the U.S. from Germany, and Lee came from China. Two completely different cultures combining in one household, where they are both staying for the duration of the year.

“There’s lots of differences. In China, we’re always studying, studying, studying. When I came here, there’s lots of free time. I can actually do the things I want to,” Lee said.

Zauhmuller agrees that Americans have more fun and much more free time, saying that his first day was “awesome. Very different to Germany. Here, we have a lot more sports, different [school] subjects… it was very interesting.”

He also said that America has better food which was something he didn’t expect. He is also looking forward to his very first football game.

It’s not all fun being in a completely new environment, though. Lee thinks that there were challenges coming to a new country and culture.

“Language and vocabulary is a very big barrier for me,” Lee said. “But now I can practice my English very often, and I look forward to studying.”

Lee says that school here is wildly different compared to his home in China. In China, the teachers would come to Lee’s classes. They also wouldn’t leave class time to begin homework or leave any free time for the students.

Another difference was the Internet. With DHS students and staff adjusting to the new Bring Your Own Device policies, teachers are becoming more lenient to letting students use the Internet for homework. According to Lee, China had nothing of the sort. In contrast to China’s constant studying, Germany only has two or three courses that Zauhmuller was studying.

“All of these subjects here are completely new and different,” Zauhmuller said. “Driving here is very different as well. In Germany we don’t have speed limits like in America, so it’s a very weird change for me.”

Both students are very excited about the year they are spending in America. Though it’s new and different from their homes, they are eager to experience new things. With only having been here less than a week, they know the best is yet to come.