The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

The Union St. Journal: Cherry Creek High School's official news source

Union St. Journal

Junior Neele Werner Exchanged ‘Gymnasium’ for American High School

Lina Rakhmanova
Junior Neele Werner has traveled 5,082 from Germany to America to do an exchange program here at Creek.

Junior Neele Werner is five thousand miles from her home in Germany, doing an exchange student program here in the US. So far, she’s found that Gymnasium, German High School, is very different from the U.S’ education.

“I describe it like different worlds…Because in Germany everything is so different,” Werner said.

For Werner, she wanted to do an exchange program to experience something new. She also thought it may be a good way to learn some life skills, and most importantly, she wanted to improve her English.

“English is a really important language. [Everyone] likes to understand it. So I thought that would be a good idea,” Werner said.

Werner’s decision to do an exchange program was spontaneous. She had been talking with her mom one summer day when she made the choice to study abroad. Her mother had done an exchange program in America, sparking Werner to follow her footsteps.

“My mom and I had a conversation about her exchange here, and her experience.  I was like, ‘Oh, wow, I want to do an exchange,’” Werner said.

Werner has experienced many culture shocks. One of the biggest differences is the changes in school systems. Schools in Germany are almost opposite to American schools – there are no football games, no clubs, and no rampant school spirit.

“It’s so much easier to get to know people here,” said Werner.

It wasn’t easy for Werner to become an exchange student. In Germany, Werner should be a senior, but Creek wouldn’t let her do a full year as an exchange student. Because of this, she had to register as a junior, and will have to complete an extra year of school when she returns to Germany.

Werner currently stays with the Krause family, who have one student attending Creek. Luckily, the families have a long history. Melinda Krause did a foreign exchange program when she was in highschool, and her host sister was Werner’s mother. So when it came time for Werner to do a study abroad program, she already had a family to stay with.

“She’s basically my sister now. If I need to run to the store. I’m going to be like, ‘Hey, Neele you want to come?’” junior Jacob Krause, Werner’s host brother, said.

A host family’s job is to provide room and board for an exchange student, and serve as a second family to the student. Being a host family may seem unusual, but for the Krause’s, it’s not that strange.

“You think it’s weird going into it, but after like a week or so it’s almost just normal life,” Jacob Krause said.

Werner is still adjusting to American highschool life. From going to football games, watching the cheerleaders, and getting excited for prom, Werner’s time at Creek has made her feel like a character in her own American high school film.

“It still feels like a movie,” Werner said.

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About the Contributors
Sophia Hady
Sophia Hady, Assistant Opinions Editor
 Hi, my name is Sophia, I'm a freshman and this is my first year in the USJ. I joined journalism because it's a great opportunity to hear people's stories, as well as being able to have more freedom over my writing. Outside of school I'm either at a dance competition or listening to music. I love writing, reading, art and old movies.
Lina Rakhmanova
Lina Rakhmanova, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Lina Rakhmanova and I'm a sophomore. This is my first year being a part of the USJ. Outside of school, I make art and I'm currently learning how to make animations. I was interested in journalism because it's a great way to connect with the community around me.

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  • K

    Kili | Nov 7, 2023 at 6:36 PM

    An excellent piece! Exchange students are the best, and a fabulous tradition to continue.