Seventeen year old German exchange student shares his views on the USA 

Ever since seeing the movie High School Musical when he was in elementary school, Nils Erben, a seventeen-year-old from Berlin, Germany, has always loved the idea of travelling to the States. Erben wanted to see new places and experience new things, so he definitely pushed himself to make the decision to be an exchange student at the right time, with the election happening and many more history-making events happening in his time in the states. In Erben’s first weeks in Cincinnati, Ohio he observed that we are a very proud country, but, one negative comment that he had was that our food is unhealthy. 

Nils Erben was taken in by Jim, Lisa, Jack, and Annemarie Fetick, my family’s close friends. Erben stressed how the Feticks gave him a second home and made him feel as comfortable as possible in the new environment. Erben talked about how the Feticks worked to give him the “full American experience”.  Erben attended his junior year of high school at Turpin High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. One big difference that he noticed was that American high school is very involved school spirit and supportive of school sporting events, such as Friday night football games. He shared that in Germany they only have club sports, not school teams, so Erben got to experience full American high school team spirit. Another difference he noticed was that the level of education in Germany is much higher. Erben described it by saying that AP classes in America are like regular level classes in Germany. 

Erben then talked about the main difference that he noticed between the States and Germany, which is that Americans have a less healthy life style. He talked about how in Germany they barely use their cars and mostly walk, bike, and skateboard everywhere. He also talked about how we eat more fast food on a day to day basis. Some differences between America and Germany that he enjoyed were the wide range of products in grocery stores and the school spirit that Americans show.  

One memory that Erben talked about was his spring break to Destin, Florida. He shared how he and his friends drove to Destin from Cincinnati, Ohio, instead of taking a plane. “I was staring out the window looking at all of the new surroundings and just felt free”, says Erben, sharing how he was looking outside 90% of the ride. He shared how experiences like this one will forever be indented in his mind. Erben has said that he definitely would like to come back to the States in the future, and possibly even live here, but due to politics and the Government, he does not feel completely comfortable coming back to the States at this time. 

When you are away from home for a year, you are going to miss your family, friends, and the things you love most, but Erben said that he even started to miss things he didn’t like. One of the things he missed most was going to watch soccer games in the stadium.