Exchange is Not a Year in a Life: It’s a Life in a Year

Kyra Kroeger, Staff Writer

This school year, North Hills High School hosted three German exchange students: Leoni Stork, Pablo Morcate, and myself, Kyra Kroeger. We´ve all decided to write a short report on how our exchange year at North Hills has been.

Pablo Raul Morcate Kleppe:

“My year in the United States is almost over, and I have had a great time with the school, friends, family, and DiBella´s Subs. I never had a tennis team at my school in Germany, and now I am in one, and it is awesome. Thank you guys for the great time that I´ve had here.”

Leoni Stork:

“My year in the United States is almost over. I can´t believe how fast time flies! During my stay here, I learned a lot of things. My English has especially improved. At first, I often didn’t know what people meant when they were talking to me, but now it´s really easy. I also learned a lot about cultural differences. In my opinion, school is the biggest difference. In Germany, school gets boring because we don’t have any clubs or sport teams, which is sad. Another difference is that we have three different types of high school: one goes from fifth grade to ninth grade, one from fifth to tenth grade, and the other one from tenth to twelfth grade. I really enjoyed going to North Hills. My favorite moments throughout the school year were the dances, the lip dub, and being a part of the girls lacrosse team. We had some great moments together. I really hope I can continue playing lacrosse at home. Being an exchange student was the best decision I´ve ever made. I am so thankful that it was possible and that everyone at North Hills was so nice. I will never forget this year.”

Kyra Kroeger:

“The best year of my life is coming to an end, and words can´t even begin to describe how sad I am. I´ve had an amazing time; I´ve met lots of people, tried all different kinds of foods, and learned a lot about the American culture. I like it a lot better here than in Germany. People are so much nicer and the food is a lot better. In Germany, I lived in a small village with only about 800 inhabitants, so spending a year in Pittsburgh definitely had a positive effect on me. Going to North Hills was an awesome experience; I really enjoyed the football games and the lip dub. I´ve learned a lot of things during my stay in the United States; I´ve improved my English skills, but most importantly, I´ve learned that home is where the heart is and that home is not a place, but a feeling. Many people have asked if I´m excited to go back to Germany, but the only thing I can say is that I really don’t want to leave Pittsburgh. I´ve made so many friends here and met so many nice people, and going back to Germany is going to be extremely hard. You build a life for 15 years and leave it for ten months or you build a life for ten months and leave it forever –which one is harder? This is a question which many exchange students ask themselves, and my answer is that building up a life for ten months and leaving it forever is definitely one of the hard