Bingham’s Melting Pot

Katya Van Patten, Staff Writer

What do those from other countries think about Americans? Now we can finally find out from some real life foreigners- Bingham’s very own exchange students. This school year Bingham is hosting 6 different students from 3 different countries. They are all eager to live the life of an average American high schooler. A few of them were more than willing to tell us how they like it so far. These are their exact answers. 

First of all, here is a super quick introduction: Lisa Barth, 16; Bettina Hansen, 17; Caroline Vinter, 17.


 Lisa Bettina Caroline
Where are you from? Germany Norway Norway
First impressions  The people are unusually nice and everything is huge, such as cars, streets, and also Bingham. And I love the mountains. The food here is very unhealthy compared to the food in Norway, and the people here give you compliments all the time and everybody is pretty outgoing My first impression was that American people is so out-going, I love it.
Is the USA very different from your home country?  The school is very different, you are much more religious (maybe 5% of the people I know in Germany go to church regularly, here almost everyone does), clothes aren’t the same (young people would never wear dresses/skirts that go to the knees) and a big difference is that Americans in general are so proud of their country. America is very different. In Norway we don’t have any sports or teams at school, people are thinking more about themselves, the food is healthier (we don’t have any other fast-food places than McDonalds), it’s expensive to eat at restaurants and everything are more expensive [in Norway]. It is different, but not in a bad way. It is warmer, different clothes, school, food, people are much more out-going and you smalltalk a lot.
Favorite American food/drink?  Peanut butter and jam sandwiches for sure, cookies, Menchies and Mexican food (Café Rio). I love macaroni and cheese, donuts, and the burgers here. The drinks is the same as in Norway, but I really like to drink lemonade here. It is hard to choose one favorite food and drink. Everything is very good, but the first day I was here I went to Café Rio and eat a salad-it was so good.
How does school compare?  Everything is different, the A/B day schedule, lessons are double the length, we don’t have dances or any sports, in an assembly in Germany there would be no dance performances, there is no cafeteria because we don’t have “Lunch”, and there are no extra credit or participation points. Also we don’t use the intercom except for fire drills. School is very different. Bingham has more than four times as many student than my school in Norway. In Norway we sit in the same classroom the whole day and the teachers change classroom, not the students. We don’t get credit for homework and when we have a test we can never use our notes. We don’t have fun classes, like art. You can’t join a team at the school, if you do sports then it has nothing to do with school. The school here is more serious about sports and the social stuff, in Norway we just have serious classes and don’t have this many people at each school. We don’t have soda, chips and unhealthy food at school either.
Are people really different?  People are different in some ways. For example, there are many more gentlemen. When I’d go on a date in Germany, he would probably not pay for me, pick me up or open the car door for me. People are different in a positive way. Americans are more friendly and outgoing, but I will also say that Norwegians are more mature than Americans. People are not so different, but you are more out-going. You are also very good at giving compliments, which is so nice.
What weird things do we say or do?  There is a lot of church and also slang words. What is with “what the heck”? “Awesome” is known as an American thing and we all know you say it (No comment). You don’t say so many weird things, but I have noticed one thing I have never seen before and some btw is very cute. It is when you ask each other to a date or to a dance. I love it.
What are some of your favorite things you have done so far?  Zion National Park, girl’s trip to St. George, lots of concerts, boating, football games and just hanging out with my host sister Katya and other friends. I feel like I experience new things everyday. I think it’s cool to eat out as often as you do here, go shopping in Salt Lake City and I want to say I feel lucky about being a part of a new culture, that my host family are the best and that all the people are very nice to me! Just being here is a favorite thing. My favorite thing I have done so far is to go to a real High School football game. It is way fun and I love the school spirit.