VHS exchange students share their experiences

VHS exchange students share their experiences
The American culture is something that many "Yankees" may take for granted. The options are endless, and the slogan, "Have it your way," really does fit in most instances.

Each year Vermillion High School participates in a number of exchange programs from all around the world, and the experiences these students have while in America are probably anything but forgettable.

The Vermillionaire was able to snag some information from two of these students and find out what they think.


Dusan Cvetkovic is a sophomore from Surdulica, Serbia. He is currently living with the Eichelberg family, has been here since August and will return in May. So far, he has been enjoying America quite a bit. One of the biggest things that amazes Cvetkovic is the school system.

"The teachers are so friendly; they actually try to be your friend and make jokes with you," he said. "In Serbia, the teachers are much more strict."

He also mentioned that oral presentations are a much bigger factor in determining grades back at his school. "We must memorize everything and then present it while the teachers drill us with questions. These are more important than tests," he said.

Cvetkovic enjoys many other things about America, but there are a few things that make him wish he were back home.

"The nightlife in Serbia is much better. Every weekend, my friends and I go out to the discos and walk up and down the main streets," he said.

In Europe, clubs are referred to as discos, not to be confused with the Saturday Night Fever of the 1970s. Another major difference Cvetkovic notices is the rage about NASCAR. "I think NASCAR is absolutely silly; there is no point to it. I prefer Formula 1 much more. It is definitely better."

Sports is one more subject to add to the differences. In America, most people can say that football is the biggest sport, and one may find many students watching it on the weekends. In Serbia, however, basketball is the closely followed sport.

"I don't understand it: America has the largest basketball league (NBA), yet they are more into football," Cvetkovic said.

Another student who is currently calling America home is junior Georg Urban. He is from the southwest of Germany and will also be returning home at the end of May. Although Urban is attending VHS, the Pinkelman family, with whom he is living, resides in Maskell, NE.

Along with Cvetkovic, Urban is intrigued by the school system. In Germany, one is not allowed to pick one's own classes. They are assigned, leaving everyone with the same schedule.

Urban's first thought about America is that people here are very lazy. "Everything has a drive-through, and a person will get into their car and drive just to go 10 meters," Urban said. "It is also strange to have drive-throughs at a bank."

Although our country may seem a bit off its rocker to Urban, that's not to say he does not enjoy it.

"I think America is a great country, with little errors, but I like America and really enjoy my time here," Urban said.

America is full of new experiences and places to go, and even though this may be fun and exciting for Urban, he still misses the culture of his country.

"I miss the Rhein river, and all the mountains and history, like castles, that can be seen all over Germany," he said.

These students are lucky enough to get the opportunity of a lifetime, and although they will learn many new things, home is always where the heart is.

This story is published thanks to a joint agreement between the Plain Talk and the Vermillion High School journalism class.

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