German exchange students find Ames ‘quiet’ and ‘nice’<br /><br />

Although being 4,427 miles from home may be frightening for some, Kati and Sven handle the experience with confidence and poise. Arriving in Ames on August 14th from Wuelfrath, Germany, Kati and Sven have quickly learned what living in Ames is all about. “It’s boring,” Sven said, “and quiet.” Evidently Sven hasn’t seen the fine points of Ames yet. Has he not seen the tropical plants in the front lobby? Sven added, “All I do is go to school, do homework, and sleep.” Kati, however, has had a better experience in Ames. Although she first thought Ames would “have a lot of fields,” she has realized that Ames is a lot more than meets the eye. “People are really nice here,” Kati said. “And the student-teacher relationships are different.” Sven later added, “It’s quiet here, but it’s nice.” Kati and Sven both have a full course load that they are working on. Although they are native German speakers, both of them are taking standard Ames High classes, taught completely in English. The language isn’t the only challenge that they have to overcome. According to Sven and Kati, the school day ends at 1:30 in Germany. It’s no wonder that Sven has difficulty doing anything; he has to be in school for two more hours a day! The downside of getting out two hours earlier: they have to go to school an extra year. On top of going to school, Sven and Kati are both doing cross-country as well. This is their first time running on a cross-country team. In Germany, the schools do not have clubs or sports teams. If a student would like to join a club or a team, they have to find it outside of the school. Although cross-country is a new experience, Kati and Sven are both enjoying themselves. “It’s cool,” Kati said, “It’s fun because the girls and coaches are really nice.” “It’s hard because of the weather,” Sven said. “But you meet a lot of people and that’s cool.” Even though Kati and Sven have a lot to keep them busy with, they do miss home. “I miss my friends,” Sven said. “I miss my friends and family,” Kati added. “But all the people are very nice here, so you don’t miss them too much.” Sven and Kati will be in Ames until December 20th. After that, they have to travel the 4,427 miles back to Wuelfrath, Germany. Hopefully, they won’t forget about Ames, the place with the nice people, cross-country, and tropical plants.