German exchange students come to North

German students live with host families for two and a half weeks .

­The German exchange students and teachers pose in front of the Bean on their trip to Chicago.
Photo courtesy of Neele Mohrmann. ­The German exchange students and teachers pose in front of the Bean on their trip to Chicago.

German exchange students came to North to help learn English and understand the culture better.
Every year, students from Germany and Spain visit North. Students are encouraged to host an exchange student.
“It’s really easy to do, and it’s a lot of fun. I now have many friends in Germany and Spain because of who we have hosted in the past,” said choir teacher Paul Nielsen.
The exchange students got to improve their English while speaking to the other students at North.
“I think you learn more vocabulary from everyday life, speaking to other teenagers, that’s different from the English we speak in class,” said German exchange student Bele Hesse.
Nielsen organized the program and decided which activities the exchange students and their hosts would do.
“I had to find host families to take in the German students and pair them up as best as I could. I also had to organize a field trip to Madison and help make arrangements for them to go to Chicago. I also hosted one of their teachers in my home,” Nielsen said.
Students made individual plans with their exchange students to show off activities that Americans will sometimes do.
“We went bowling, mini golfing, saw Dear Evan Hansen and went to the Science and Industry museum,” said host junior Aidan Blashe.
While at North, the exchange students learned the typical day in the life of an American high school student and how the school systems are set up differently.
The German exchange students were excited to participate in the homecoming dance but were surprised when it was not what they expected.
“I thought the hoco dance would be more romantic. We watched the high school movies,” said German exchange student Neele Mohrmann. “You have to be at school for a longer time, but you don’t do that much in school. So you have to do more at home. We also have to do something at home, but our school day is shorter and we do more in the lessons.”