The Oakmonitor

International Interactions: Exchange Students at Oakmont

David Seppelin, Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






This morning, about 3.6 million US students slapped their alarm clocks, brushed their teeth, and hopped on their buses making their way to high school, comfortably talking to peers and waving to teachers along the way.

In a crowd you could never tell the guy next to you learned your language, and flew 5,000 miles  to attend your school.

Everyday, exchange students from all corners of the globe attend schooling in America. It peaks one’s interest to think if making these life changing decisions is easy.

Oakmont is lucky enough to have two exchange students spending some time with the graduating Class of 2020. Students Dylano Bruinewoud (traveling with Travel Active), from The Netherlands, and Tom Brieden (traveling with Southwest Services), from Germany, were very excited upon hearing they could study at Oakmont and live in The States.

Dylano and Tom weren’t that nervous in taking part in this year’s junior class; in fact, both were very excited about their opportunity.

Tom Brieden, who stays with a host family in Westminster, is a resident of Cologne, Germany. “I was excited because you’re sitting at home and waiting for a family who takes you for free,” Brienden mentioned.

The schools in Germany, like everywhere else, are different, “In German schools you have only school; you have no homework, longer school,” Brieden said. Oakmont does give students homework – as we all know. Would you trade your homework for a longer school day?

“We have around eight or nine subjects [in Germany],” Brieden says, “It’s very cool to have only four subjects because it’s very good to manage your homework, and to study for quizzes and tests.” Students at Oakmont have schedules on the simpler side. Schooling with only four subjects a day, everyday, can allow students to easily manage homework – compared to eight or nine subjects, as Brieden said.

Dylano Bruinewoud, a resident of Almere, Netherlands, is staying with a host family in Ashburnham. One of the big differences Bruinewoud felt, was surprisingly on the buses. “With the school buses… it’s more sad, and I thought it would be more happy. Everybody looks to the front and is still, they don’t talk,” Bruinewoud goes on, “I like to connect with people, fast.”

Focusing on school, Bruinewoud said, “[he prefers] more different subjects because I like more change – the [lunch] break could be longer because its very short.” In The Netherlands, Bruinewoud has almost twice as many subjects in school. Also, during lunch he has enough time to leave school, and get lunch from a supermarket. Imagine that at Oakmont.

On the other hand, Brieden says, “[here] The lunch is short, and I think that’s not bad because in Germany we lunch sixty minutes, and you stay sixty minutes in school longer… our location is not good for this [referring to Bruinewoud about going to stores during lunch]. We live in a forest.”

In Germany, students seem to give teachers more formal respect. “The connection from students to teachers are very good here,” Brieden stated.

But according to Dylano, it’s somewhat different in the Netherlands, “We can call our teachers by their [first] names” and adds, in the Netherlands, when he’s having a conversation, it is okay to be more straightforward and honest with your teachers.

Aside from high school, universities/colleges are free in most European countries. Europeans see access to university as a right, while American families often have to save for years for their children to attend one.

Abruptly, Brieden mentioned, “For every sports game you hear The Star Spangled Banner and everybody stands… everybody is proud of their country here.” Singing The Star Spangled Banner, and other patriotic songs, seems habit. It is comforting knowing our American citizens are seen at proud.

While it is impressive that these two young men wanted to learn so much about our culture and country, we should take a moment to learn a bit about theirs.

David Seppelin
Dyalano Bruinewood left, Tom Brieden right

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Columns

    Student Interest in Politics

  • Columns

    Everyone’s Best Friend

  • International Interactions:  Exchange Students at Oakmont

    Entertainment

    Climate Change

  • Entertainment

    Five Things to Know Going Into The 2018-2019 NBA Season

  • International Interactions:  Exchange Students at Oakmont

    Entertainment

    An Honest Scary Movie Review

  • Entertainment

    Vaping: Helping or Hurting our Society

  • International Interactions:  Exchange Students at Oakmont

    Entertainment

    Oakmont vs. Gardner: An Ongoing Rivalry or a Dying Tradition?

  • International Interactions:  Exchange Students at Oakmont

    Entertainment

    Cookie Convenience

  • International Interactions:  Exchange Students at Oakmont

    Entertainment

    Finding Stress Relief in Camping

  • International Interactions:  Exchange Students at Oakmont

    Entertainment

    Top Three Places to Visit in the Fall

Navigate Right
The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School
International Interactions: Exchange Students at Oakmont