Erie High Goes Global With Foreign Exchange Students


Hannah Osmann, Editor- In- Chief

sound of airplanes soaring through the sky around the Denver International Airport is almost deafening as new students from around the world arrive. Foreign exchange students have joined Erie High this year from a wide variety of different countries and regions, just to study in an American school, and experience a fragment of American culture and life. 


One student is Maya Klingbeil, a foreign exchange student from Germany, who plans on staying in America for a duration of ten months. Already she has noticed the differences between life in America, and the life she has in Germany. “Oh it’s so crazy,” Klingbeil reflects. “Everything is different.” In Germany, she explains that school works differently. 


Students who came from different countries like Japan and Uzbekistan say the same thing. Jamolxon Mirzaliyev, a junior from Uzbekistan who started Erie a couple of weeks ago says, “

We have only one class and all of our classmates are the same during the whole year. But here each class has its own classmates.” Both Mirzaliyev and Klingbeil say the same thing when it comes to this concept. While most American schools function that each student takes their own classes, there instead of moving classes, teachers come to the students. 


Hibiki Watanabe, a student who transferred from a town near Tokyo also reflects on some of the big differences between American schools and school in Japan. He says, “ We can’t eat or drink in our class, so we can eat or drink when it’s time for lunch.” He continues further to reflect that his school in Japan, similar to students from other countries, is a lot different from what they are experiencing at Erie High. 


Klingbeil is set to stay in America for ten months, enough time to experience the Erie High School year in its entirety. Coming from Germany not only is school different, but culture in lifestyle as well. “Now I cannot say what is better, because it’s just different, and it is so cool.” Klingbeil says. 


As culture and lifestyle change from place to place, Klingbeil reflects that the people are different here too. “One thing that I really like about [America] is that the people are so friendly.” Klingbeil says. 


For every exchange student lessons that they have found already whilst living in this new environment is different. For Klingbeil, she has noticed that you should, “Just be open and be kind, and don’t judge people… Maybe you think it’s worse here than in Germany, but it’s different. It’s not better or worse, just different.” 


For Mirzaliyev, he reflects that he has learned a lot from being in the nutrition and wellness class. He says that he has learned more about himself, and about how he should take care of himself. 


Whether students are from Germany, or Tokyo, they have all come to live in Erie Colorado for a certain amount of time. Something that hasn’t been able to happen since the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Each of them are hopeful for the school year to come and for the fun times, and friends that will be obtained this school year. Whether it’s through sports, or through the different range of classes and experiences. All are here, ready to experience something new and gain memories to bring home.