Gaither Welcomes Exchange Student From Germany


Yacob Reyes, Staff Writer

Gaither is home to hundreds of well-loved students and peers. One special student is Jari Greis, a foreign exchange student here from Germany. As the school year comes to an end, and he prepares to journey back to Germany we wanted to interview him to see how he enjoyed his last 7 months in America.

Greis’ decision to travel to America was not an easy one, as he would have to repeat his Junior year in Germany, but there was a burning desire within within him to return to the land that had captivated him since his visit year ago.

“I’ve always wanted to travel, It’s a thing we should all do. I wanted to go to the American parties, to hang out at school, or in the parks like you see in the movies. It was that curiosity that played a huge factor in me joining [the foreign exchange student program], I wanted to see if America was really like that,” Greis said.

Greis also wanted to compare the standards of his own country to America. “It’s always good to gain another perspective on topics such as religion, and war. I wanted to see how differently they thought over here, to understand the world better,” Gries said.

Upon his arrival, Greis was surprised by the environment here at Gaither. He found that American schools have a lot more extracurricular activities, like sports and clubs, and a lot more school spirit. “There’s always something going on,” said Greis. Greis described life at his school. “In Germany there’s really not much going on, over there school is school and fun is separated. And here you have school [spirit] Like ‘this is my school, I’m proud of it’ here you get the feeling you’re involved and everybody needs that in life, we all wanna be apart of something.”

Greis admits that some things in America do seem better than in his home.

“In Germany it’s like people are in a cage, they’re always on their own, they are set in this routine,” he described. “They’re being dragged down by the stress in their lives and you don’t see them smiling at you in the streets like you do here. They’re not as outgoing. Here you walk down the street and whether they know you or not they’ll smile and say ‘Hey, what’s up?’ You don’t get that in Germany.”

Despite Greis’ fun experience in America, he is excited to return to his home in Germany. He will be fondly remembered by his teachers and his peers.