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Abroad in America: One Student’s Experience

Victoria Temple, Staff Writer

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It’s been almost two months since foreign exchange student Liliane Spitzbart arrived in Ohio. When asked about how her experience in America differed from her own home country, Austria, she explained that it was a different, but enjoyable, experience.

“The people,” she explained when asked to sum up her favorite part of being in the United States. “Everyone here is very friendly.” When she saw my surprise, she laughed.

I went on to ask her more questions about her own home country and the biggest difference she saw between her high school experience here and at home. “It’s very weird,” she exclaimed after a moment of consideration, “the way you change classes.” When I asked her to elaborate, she explained that in Austria, they didn’t change classes every forty minutes or so. Everyone stays in one class, whilst different teachers would come in to teach different subjects.

One other thing she admitted was frustrating: communication. “It’s hard finding the right vocabulary,” she said. “Communication can be a struggle.”

When wrapping up the interview, I asked one last question about the general perception of the US back in Austria. Without missing a beat, she laughed. “High School Musical.”

When I replied with an “I wish,” she continued a little bit more seriously about how she thought America would be more about the American dream.

“America is always trying to be the best,” she pondered. “Everyone is very spirited and energetic here. I think people are very proud of their community.”

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Abroad in America: One Student’s Experience