Hoelzel’s Foreign Adventure

Kellis Hosts a Sophomore from Germany

Brianna McCain and Viviana Cordero

Clara Hoelzel, foreign exchange student from Germany, shares thoughts about her Kellis experience.

Sophomore Clara Hoelzel is a foreign exchange student from Germany, at Raymond S. Kellis. A foreign exchange student is typically a person who moves to a foreign school to learn in a different environment and have exposure to a different culture. However, there are also student exchange programs that do not require a student to study outside of their resident country.

After coming from Germany, Hoelzel finds that the biggest culture shock was that everyone is “superficially friendly.” She said that being a foreign exchange student “is like being on vacation every day, because you get to experience something new every day.”

Some other cultural differences she has noticed are that the stores are bigger, Americans wear more casual clothes, and cars are constantly used for transportation. The most shocking situation she has seen is that Americans order groceries from the stores.

Something that Hoelzel would like people to know about her is that she really likes to listen to people and learn about their lives.

The Kellis community has done a great job making Hoelzel feel welcomed, but she would prefer if everyone would treat her as a normal student, so she can feel more a part of our community.

The most influential school experience she has encountered in the U.S. are events like football games, pep assemblies, and school spirit activities, because these have made her feel part of the Kellis community.

Hoelzel does not want to come back on another foreign exchange program to the U.S. because she wants to learn about different cultures and she would love to travel more. She plans to come visit the U.S. outside of the exchange program.

Hoelzel is proud of her country for overcoming negative aspects of their history from the past 100 years, “Because that is the biggest thing I get confronted with and now we have loving and accepting leaders.” She believes people should be informed of what they have overcome.

Hoelzel dearly misses her family and friends from Germany. When she returns home, she will miss the weather, the warmth, and the people she has met, because she might not be able to see them again.