Students Experience Virtual Cultural Exchange


Evy Christensen (12), Zoe Sadauskis (12), Emma Barcley (12), Taya Jeffery (11), and Vayda Stadheim (11) are partaking in a virtual conversation with two german students via Zoom. The students broke out into different break out rooms to further discuss more refined topics and current events.

The German Culture Exchange is a program where students from ALHS and a high school in Germany talk about politics. The German students were interested in learning about American politics so a student from Germany, Mallory King, reached out to Dr. Funk to start this program. Jim Haney, social studies teacher, wanted to participate and chose a few of his students who he thought would be interested to be a part of the German Culture Exchange.

They began by exchanging emails and then Haney and a teacher from Germany set up Zoom calls so the students could interact live. Their first zoom call was on March 3.

At the start, the goal was to teach the German students about the American political system but it started to drift into something different. The more serious conversations about politics took a backseat and conversations became about the cultural differences. 

“It’s pretty good,” said senior Isabel Wilson. “It’s kind of fun listening to different perspectives and seeing how they would do school during COVID-19 and how we do it and just how there are some similarities but there’s also a lot of differences between both of our schools and what we are doing.”

They shared things they like to do and spent time getting to know each other.

“It was actually surprisingly easy,” said senior Cassandra Martinez. “I mean we’re all just a bunch of teenagers so we all got along pretty well and related to a lot of different things. Most of them are also seniors so we had a lot to relate to with them even though our things like college processes and classes are different; we still kind of bonded over dealing with moving into the next period of our lives.”