Dorian Kriegel, an AFS exchange student, said coming from his home of Friedrichsdorf, Germany to Shorewood and experiencing American traditions is a learning experience for him.
Kriegel, who came to Shorewood this year and is now staying with the Sutherland family as a junior, says that he decided to choose the U.S. as his international country of choice in the program because his father had experienced living in Seattle for a short time, and he wanted to learn more English. After looking at various student exchange programs, he finally settled on America.
Kriegel lives with his mother, father and younger brother and sister in his hometown, a suburb of Frankfurt. After arriving in Shorewood in early September, he said that it’s the village’s sense of close-knit community that is one of the nice things he has observed in his time here so far.
“Everything [here] is close. I needed fifty minutes to go from my home to school in Germany, and here it’s five minutes,” Kriegel said. “What I noticed the most is this town’s structure. Here, Shorewood is built as a suburb, and everything is closer, and you have this great street system.”
Kriegel also said that he has noticed a big difference in the holidays and the ways in which Americans and Germans celebrate.
“[In Germany], there’s no Thanksgiving, and Halloween is not as big. People trick or treat, but you stop doing it when you are ten or eleven,” Kriegel said.
He has noticed a difference in each country’s outlook on sports, as well. Kregel, who said one of the most fun things he has done during his time here so far was watching a recent Brewer’s baseball game at Miller Park, says the fan following and participation in sports is different here. Sports, such as soccer, he said, are liked, but not followed as constantly and intensely as they may be in the United States.
“In Germany, sports are in clubs, and not in school — usually it’s only once or twice a week,” Kriegel said. “Here, people actually follow every Packer game.”
By Celeste Carroll