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The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

The student news site of Wando High School

Tribal Tribune

Exchange students adjust to new cultures

German duo embarks on adventure in new country
Emmett Miles

A new country, new school, and new culture are all things junior Jonna Hirt experienced during her first semester of her exchange year here in Charleston.

The biggest difference Hirt has found between Wando and her school back in Germany has been the size of the schools and amount of students attending.

“It’s so big, and I don’t like it so much. It’s hard to make friends,” Hirt said.

Although Hirt had her concerns, the anticipation of living so close to the beach kept her excited.

“I think [I was most excited for] the beach… I really love the beach,” Hirt said.

The desire to be an exchange student came from Hirt’s dad. He got to experience an exchange year when he was in school and encouraged Hirt to do the same.

“[I have always wanted to be an exchange student] because my dad, he also had an exchange year. He taught me a lot about what it was so I have wanted to have an exchange since fifth grade,” Hirt said.

Junior Noah Riepenhof’s wish for an exchange year came at the last minute.

“I saw there was an event at my school in Germany with different organizations [that did exchange years], so I got the idea from there and thought it’d be fun,” Riepenhof said.

A big shock for Riepenhof when coming to an American school was the unity and kinship of the school and students. “[My biggest cultural shock after coming to Wando was] the school spirit and how everyone was united like all the sports teams and everyone together supporting each other, it’s really cool,” Riepenhof said.

With eight months left in his exchange year, Riepenhof said that taking this time to have new experiences is very important to him.

“I think it’s such a unique experience and you don’t have that much time to do it. I only have this year to do it so it’s a really good opportunity and I would really recommend it,” Riepenhof said.

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