Q&A: German exchange student wants to see if American schools are like those in Hollywood films

Sophomore Chiara Barantke (Photo by Cissy Shi)

Chiara Barantke is a German student visiting from Ratekau. She is staying with the Aryana family for six weeks.

Q: Why did you want to study abroad?

A: I wanted to know what it’s like to go to an American high school. We talked about it in an English lesson, and I wanted to know more about what it’s like. I wanted to know if they were like the ones in Hollywood films or if they were more like the ones in Germany. I think the films are more “Hollywood.” Also, of course, I wanted to see my aunt and visit my little cousin. He’s 11 months old.

Q: What are some differences between your school and SCDS?

A: We have a homeroom and not the course system. Each section of the grade has a classroom, and the teacher comes in our room and teaches most of the subjects together. The main subjects are in one room. With physics and chemistry we have to walk to another room because we don’t have the materials in the homeroom.

Q: What do you like to do after school?

A: After school we have sports clubs in each town. I’m in a track-and-field club. I like to run. Sounds crazy, but I do.

Q: What school do you attend in Germany?

A: The school system is called Gymnasium. The full name of my school is Gymnasium am Mühlenberg. The school has both a middle and high school in it but not an elementary school like SCDS.

Q: Exactly where is Ratekau located?

A: It is about a one-hour drive from Hamburg. We can drive to the Baltic Sea in only eight minutes.

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