v By Ashley Bagwell
While the German exchange students of this year have left, the true experience for the Leander participants has only just begun.
Even though the Leander half of this exchange has yet to visit Germany this year, there are still a lot of lessons learned and memories made through the first part of their exchange.
“Hosting a person from another country can open up your eyes and help you to learn things about other ways of life,” Heather Cook, junior, said.
This is not the first time Leander has participated in the exchange program, and there are multiple reasons behind their involvement including making new connections.
“I wanted them to experience the world and see outside of Leander, what other people do and how they live,” Nilay Woodbury, German teacher, said. “I always talk about Germany and I wanted them to see for themselves.”
Some of these connections have already been made through just the first part of this program. Students have been able to spot noticeable differences between American and German culture.
“We eat unhealthy in America,” Seth Wynn, junior, said. “In Germany, a rye-bread veggie sandwich is as normal as a burger in America.”
These realizations are reciprocated across the racial boundaries of this exchange, as many of the German students have expressed surprise at the many differences between culture.
“I like that at Leander High School, even though it is so big and all, there is no ostracism between students,” Katharina Weber, exchange student, said. “Every person has friends and you accept the person next to you.”