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The student news site of Chattanooga Central High School

The Central Digest

The student news site of Chattanooga Central High School

The Central Digest


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European Exchange Students

Central’s Foreign Guests

Central High School has taken in two new guest students for this year. Blanka Hardek is from central Poland and I, Friedrich Hermenau, am from eastern Germany. We’ve been experiencing the United States for almost two months now and are really happy with our host families and this school.

While Blanka’s name should be easy for everybody to say, I am okay with Fred, because of pronunciation challenges.

Blanka is really happy that she can continue her main hobby of playing piano in school. Even though  participating in Polish traditions is missing she already had a lot of fun while visiting her first ever baseball game and also was interested in learning about football and halloween traditions.

We both had a really smooth transition into our new day-to-day life here, but there are still some very apparent differences that point out. For most of Europe public transport and walkable cities are normal, so not being able to move on your own, but always having to organize a car ride is a huge adjustment. Another challenge is the American diet, that, especially compared to the Polish cuisine is much sweeter, fattier, and more fast food reliant.

In most countries English is a second language iyou are forced to take in school, so we both had a couple years of English, but talking in it every day can still be very hard and exhausting. Obviously our vocabulary and complexity of sentences can not reach that of native speakers, which is why classes like English or Journalism can be difficult. On the other hand, classes like algebra are way easier, as our schools had a way more detailed and time consuming learning objective.

In general I can definitely say that Americans are way nicer than the average German. Nobody would ever ask how you are doing or try to do small talk. It also seems like there are way more passionate and competitive people, which I especially experienced in football and think is one of the best of the many good American traits.

I think both us are fortunate for being placed in such a welcoming, interesting, and diverse school that will definitely upgrade our year here.

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