The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

Lake Views

The award winning student newspaper of Lake Oswego High School

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LOHS greets exchange students

This school year, LOHS has increased in diversity with the arrival of a large group of foreign exchange students. As these young minds from across the globe immerse themselves in the daily lives of fellow Oregonians, they bring with them the curiosity to learn about other cultures, languages, experiences and traditions, greatly enriching our high school. Introducing our exchange students! 


Friedrich Thaele

Some students are here for academics, while others have become involved with various extracurricular activities as well. Junior Friedrich Thaele is one of the students who has participated in school sports. He was on the varsity boys soccer team in the fall and will be joining the ski team this winter. Thaele is from Germany and has had a great experience so far in Oregon. He explained that for his program, he wasn’t given the choice to pick which state he wanted to travel to, only the region. “We could choose a region between the mid east and west, I chose the west region because I wanted to go to the west coast, so I landed in Oregon. If I go really far then I go far away from my parents,” he said. Although he was looking at other states on the west coast, he is very satisfied with ending up in Oregon. “It’s very cool, there is a variety of landscapes. I went to the beach and the water was very very cold,” he said.


Lara Stiehler

Lara Stiehler is also from Germany and is a senior this year. The exchange process was difficult for her because she is 18 years old and the program usually only accepts minors. “It was a long process; it took like a year.”  Being an exchange student in America, the students could not pick a state of their choice because a host family would choose from the pool of exchange students instead. “I actually wanted to go to California,” Stiehler admitted. Although it wasn’t her first choice, after some acclimation she grew fond of the environment. “Now I’m here and I think it’s cool to see all of nature,” she said. One culture shock Stiehler experienced was the kindness of Oregonians. She thought it was interesting how everybody was so friendly in grocery stores, always smiling and saying hello even if they didn’t know her. She explained, “in Germany if you go to a store, you will never say hi to anyone they will just ignore you.”


Ta’Ziyah Garsj

Another exchange athlete here at LOHS is Ta’Ziyah Garsj. He is a senior  from Norway. Garsj is one of the exchange students who has integrated himself into LOHS sports. He joined the track team this fall and has made many friends through being on the team and playing the sport. He has also built a connection with coach John Parks. He expressed his gratitude for the sport and ackloweged John as a  “Really great coach. Shout out coach John,” he said. Like the other exchange students, Garsj is appreciative of the Oregon nature. “Nice nature, you know.” He thinks that LOHS is a great school and has really enjoyed his time spent at the high school this year.


Margarethe Tenner

Margarethe Tenner is another student from Germany. She was inspired to become an exchange student after her sister had taken a gap year and came to America through the same program that she came here to Oregon through. Tenner’s favorite part about Oregon is the nature. “I think it’s very beautiful, I like the variety and diversity of nature because it is nothing like Germany,” she said. Tenner has also noticed many cultural differences between Germany and America. She explained how the American mentality is different; “Americans are definitely more open minded, and the people I meet at schools are much more diverse.” She thinks that it is a cool opportunity to see different cultures in one place. She is also surprised by the difficulty of school here in America. “It is easier, I actually got to choose my classes, and I couldn’t choose any classes at home,” she said. The system is very different here compared to in Germany. Compared to our eight classes, Tenner had to take 16.


Virginia Petrini

Our final exchange student is Virgrinia Pertini, from Italy. Her exchange process was different from the rest because her host family members are family friends of her dads. “My process was contacting an agency in Italy that provided the self placement option,” she said. Petrini has found America to be a completely different reality than the one she has at home “Everything from the cars to the food to school, where we don’t have nearly as many activities at home,” she said. In Italy, there are no sports affiliated with her school, and no activities related to art or music. “It is pretty cool that here I am able to do those things, in Italy there is no such thing as that.” The subjects Petrini learned in Italy are math, physics, biology, Italian, English,history, Latin and PE, and they do not get to choose their subjects or the level of the classes. “You guys do more in school for practical things, but as for studying we probably study a little more, meaning getting our heads into books,” she explains about the different school systems. Petrini is integrating herself into the school by participating in the musical, and she is also in the film and production club.

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