DELPHOS—Most of the German students who come to Delphos via the friendship pact with Verl, Germany choose to come in order to improve their English. For 15 year-old Alicia Hesse, spending time in America is a way to shake things up.
“I came to learn the language better and to meet new people,” she said. “I wanted to get to know the culture and live a different daily life.”
Hesse was understandably nervous when she arrived but she soon began to enjoy the excitement of being somewhere new.
German student Alicia Hesse with her host mom, Jennifer Moenter.
“Before I came here, I thought I could speak the language very well and fast but it took me about a month to catch up,” she said. “At first, I was very scared to speak and was afraid I wouldn’t understand people. Now I think I can understand pretty well.”
During her time in Delphos, Hesse is staying with the family of Jennifer and Scott Moenter.
“My host parents have three children, one is 16 and the two little ones are 5 and 6,” Hesse said. “At home, I have a 10-year-old brother. My mother works in a bank and my father has his own business.
“The first few weeks after getting here, we did a lot of fun things. We went to the lake and then to Cedar Point. All of us girl exchange students stayed in a houseboat together at the lake,” she said. “I’m really excited for the Chicago trip in November. It’s all kind of been an adventure here.”
While she is here, Hesse is attending St. John’s High School as a junior. With all six of this year’s exchange students at St. John’s, Hesse can look forward to familiar faces at school.
“All four of us girls were friends before we came here. We went to the same school,” she said. “The two boys went to a different school so I didn’t know them but we’ve become friends. “School is really different here. My favorite subject here and in Germany is art. I prefer the art class here because in Germany all we do it just draw pictures. Here I like it better because we can do big projects, so it’s more fun.
“At home I play volleyball and I’m in dance,” she added. “I could probably practice with the volleyball team here but it’s the first weeks of school so I have a lot of homework. Maybe I will sometime soon.”
While she’s been enjoying her time at St. John’s, one thing Hesse is getting used to is the dress code.
“I don’t like the uniforms,” she said. “In Germany we don’t have uniforms.”
While Hesse doesn’t have any set plans for college or her future, she knows would like to come back to the United States.
“I want to come back,” she added. “I’ve even thought about moving here someday. The people are really nice. I really like the food, too, especially the Pop Tarts.”
Hesse and the other five cultural exchange students will leave for home on Dec. 8.