Exchanged Opinions


Mrs. Bremner

GM”s exchange students are Rickard Tedgren from Sweden, Henri Gensheimer from Germany, and Kimberley Prizmic from Australia.

Kim Prizmic, Reporter

Traveling from any one place to another can be an extremely daunting task for any full grown adult, but for a student it can be even more so. Exchange students all over the world get the opportunity to live in another country for up to twelve months with a host family who take upon them the responsibility of immersing the youth in the culture of a different country.

This year, three foreign exchange students have been given the opportunity to experience life in the shoes of an American youth attending General McLane High School. It may not seem that the culture shift between places such as Sweden and Germany would be all that different from America’s own culture. However, even the slightest differences can be noticeable to a foreigner.

Junior Rickard Tedgren from Sweden said, “It’s strange, people wear sweatpants to school. I mean… I do that now too, but no one back in Sweden does.” Sweatpants in school is not the only thing that foreigners find strange about America though, “Americans eat dip [chewing tobacco]” said junior Henri Gensheimer, from Germany. Some other major differences between cultures are the quality and price of food. “At Chick-Fil-A, you get a plain chicken sandwich for like, $7. No lettuce or anything.” Gensheimer said.

While in Sweden they seem to have a lack of a certain locally popular American food, which, when asked what American food he would take back to Sweden with him Tedgren enthusiastically replied, “bagel shop!”

Many American students have no idea how many opportunities are open to them within their own schools. “The Broadway Dinner was fun, I guess, and the band trip to Florida,” Tedgren said.

In Germany American football and basketball are not very popular sports. “We play soccer as rough as Americans play football,” said Gensheimer who had attained many injuries such as a broken ankle, broken finger and a broken leg, from playing the extremely popular German sport.

When asked what thoughts he would take back to Germany with him he replied that “Not every American is fat and doesn’t do sport.”

Other countries can provide young adults with experiences they never could have dreamed of in their hometowns. Bright yellow school busses, no school uniforms, cell phones in classes; All of these seem so simple but they are the things that truly stay in an exchange student’s mind.