Exchange students set for life in Canada

For the six students who recently landed in the district as a part of the American/Scandinavian Student Exchange program, Canada was the country to sign up for.
“Everybody goes to the USA,” said Julia Loos, 17, of Germany, noting she wanted to go someplace different. “The USA didn’t interest me so much.”
“I like cold winters,” put in Johana Kankinen, 16, also from Germany, giving her reasons for choosing Canada. “I hope we’ll get one.”
Loos and Kankinen are joined by fellow exchange students Lukas Curschellas, 17, of Switzerland, Karen Ribault, 18, of France, Kristin Schroeder, 16, of Germany, and Jan Mueller, 16, of Germany.
Curschellas is staying with John and Marina Gerber in Emo, Ribault is with Cliff and Lorraine McCormick in Pinewood, Mueller is being housed at Stuart and Debbie Firth’s home in Stratton, and Loos is staying in Emo with Don and Joyce Meyers
Marilyn Teeple and Ray Kehler of Barwick are hosting Schroeder while Kankinen is staying with Phil and Justina Friesen in Stratton.
Some of the students arrived as early as Aug. 20 although Schroeder didn’t make it to the district until last Wednesday. Although their time in Canada has been short so far, the experience has been a good one.
“The landscape is very open here,” Curschellas said just prior to a turkey-dinner gathering at the Firths on Saturday. “In Switzerland, you’re always stuck between two mountains.”
“I like the people,” noted Schroeder. “They’re very friendly. In Canada, everybody smiles and looks friendly.”
“The people were really very friendly when you compare to Germans,” interjected Kankinen.
(At this point, Mueller came to the defence of his fellow countrymen. After a brief discussion around the dining room table, it was decided that Germans were just more “reserved” about showing emotion).
Going to a Canadian school also is quite the experience for each student. Mueller, who is attending the Sturgeon Creek Alternative Program with Kankinen, noted he “only had four classes” so far.
Ribault, while groping for an English word to describe the teachers at Rainy River High School, ended up using the word “crazy.” As it turned out, what she really meant was “relaxed.”
“The teachers are more friendly here,” she explained. “When you do an exercise in class, you listen to music. In France, this is a no.”
“The relationship between teachers and students are better,” said Schroeder. “It’s more fun.”
Other differences the six noted so far was Canadians watch much more television, have more channels to watch, and have much more food at supper.
Another item that caught their eyes was how straight the streets are and the size of the vehicles driving on them.
“That’s what I like, the cars and trucks,” Mueller smiled. “And I like that the school bus comes to my front door every day to pick me up.”
Each student had their own expectations on what Canada would be like, and all of them are looking forward to the next 10 months here–particularly the winter.
“For me, [part of the attraction] was the cold winter and snow,” Loos said. “I don’t know what it’s like but I’m looking forward to it.”
“In Germany, we don’t have a white Christmas,” added Schroeder. “That’s what we have been [looking forward to].”