This semester, Julia Lambertz of Germany is not only attending Harker as a junior, she is playing on the girls volleyball team, too. Julia discovered Harker through the organization international Experience (iE), which coordinates exchanges between high schools.
Lambertz has been busy with her volleyball and class schedule (which includes Spanish, psychology, sculpture and U.S. history), plus there have been a number of outings with the family of her host student, Neda Ghaffarian, grade 11. So far, they have toured San Francisco, Monterey and Santa Cruz, with possible plans to visit Los Angeles for Thanksgiving and a vacation at Lake Tahoe during Christmas. Lambertz also visited kindergarten classes to give students a brief lesson on the German language and culture.
Since arriving at Harker, Lambertz has noticed several differences between the lifestyles of students in the U.S. and Germany. “There are no spirit events in my German school and the school is not like a big community there,” she said. In addition, high school students in Germany don’t take finals at the end of the semester. Instead, they take exams at the end of their high school careers that cover the previous 13 years of study. Students also favor biking, walking or public transit instead of driving.