Two foreign exchange students wrap-up school year in the states

Brandon Clark, Writer

Coming across the pond seems like a big risk and a big obstacle for most people, but that’s not the case for two foreign exchange students that made the journey back in August.

Seniors Ezra Jakob and Alex Kreis made the journey across the ocean to live the life of an American for a school year. Jakob is from a gothic city in Belgium called Antwerp that borders the Netherlands and Kreis comes from a small town in the middle of Germany called Erfurt.

The two 17 year olds were part of an exchange program in which they stayed in the States for one year and then will return to their home countries. The program had some rather strict guidelines which included no suspensions, no driving, not having a job, and more.

Kreis and Jakob actually met at an airport in Frankfurt, Germany, for the very first time and found out that they would be house brothers together in the U.S.

The two first landed in New York where they would stay a couple of days before they would arrive to their new Bridgeton home. When Kreis and Jakob arrived in Bridgeton, there were only a few days before the first day of school so the two didn’t really have a lot of time to adjust to their new living space.

Slowly but surely throughout the school year, the two grew attached to their new home. Ezra got involved in many activities and was a starting point guard on the basketball team and a standout tennis player. While on the other hand, Kreis was very outgoing and played water polo, was a member of the Jazz Band, and also a member of the Pattonville swim team.

I got the chance to ask the two a few questions about the states and their experience here and here’s what they had to say:

Were you scared to come to the U.S.?

Jakob: “No, I am never scared”

How does school in America compare to school in Belgium?

Jakob: “School is school, just a different language.”

What is the biggest difference in culture from our school compared to your school in Belgium?

Jakob: “In America, they care a lot about their whole country and stuff. We just care about ourselves and Americans are also lazy.”

Kreis took the questions on a more serious note, let’s see how he responded:

What do you like most about Pattonville?

Kreis: “I really like the sports offered. It connects you with people, you develop spirit and it’s so much fun to play the game with your friends.”

What will you miss most about the states?

Kreis: “I will miss my friends the most. All those guys are super important to me and it will hurt a lot when I leave. I hope to see them all again soon.”

What is your favorite American food?

Kreis: “My favorite American food is probably a mushroom burger with onion rings.”

We can see through this Q and A that Kreis will miss the states a lot and it will be a hard goodbye and it will most likely be the same for Jakob. The two have become popular figures in the school with personalities of their own and they will definitely be missed next school year, but to continue their lives, they must hop back across the pond.