NORTH SALEM, N. Y. – Tim Geiges, an exchange student who has spent ten months with North Salem’s Good family, says his relatives in Freiburg, Germany, followed his American experience by reading The North Salem Daily Voice.
“They read it every day to learn about my life here, especially during Hurricane Sandy," he said.
Geiges, 17, finished high school in Freiburg in 2012 and came to North Salem in August. He attended North Salem High School as an 11th grader.
“I didn’t have a lot of culture shock when I came,” he recalled. “School here is tough, but it is harder in Germany. We can’t choose our own schedules and we have no fun classes. Here I took a guitar class and a studio in media art. We don’t have that in Germany.
“We have no school sports, just club sports, no school teams and no cheerleaders.”
Geiges had visited the U. S. twice earlier on short vacations but this was his first extended stay. Even though he learned a lot by watching American movies, it was somewhat different.
“Freiburg is a city in the Black Forest,” he explained. “I saw on the map that North Salem was near New York City, so I didn’t expect it to be countryside, with so many animals. When I first came to the Goods,’ they had 15 chickens, two geese, two cats and a dog. To live with so many animals is great.”
Geiges enjoyed the fresh eggs and tried his hand at tapping the maple trees. He got to visit Philadelphia and to go snowboarding in Vermont.
He expected it would be amazing here and concluded, “It is awesome,” proving his English was now teenage-fluent. Though he had studied English for six years in Germany, he was shy about speaking when he first arrived.
What has he missed about Germany? “My family and my friends and the German food. But I like American food, too. You guys have good steak.”
While staying with the Goods, Geiges pitched in, taking his turn in the kitchen. What did he cook? "Schnitzel and spaetzle.”
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