Austrian students take on Carlsbad

Jennifer Kan

Andrea Abbott, Staff Writer

In February, a group of Austrian students stayed with local families from Carlsbad for two weeks to experience life in Southern California. Although everything seemed foreign at first, they quickly made themselves right at home.

On the 4th, their plane landed and the adventure began. Everything seemed so unusual, from the weather to the people.

“The weather is so different,” Austrian student Yves Lambing said. “[Also] the people are very different. In Austria, it’s more complicated [to make plans].  Here you get in the car and go anywhere.”

One of the most memorable parts of their visit was when the Austrians first met their host family. When first meeting them, their new family members were complete strangers who did not speak their primary language, German. By the end of their visit, though, they developed a friendship that would last a lifetime.

“The first time meeting with my family was really awkward,” Austrian Student Raphael Stangl said. “Then two days after [it felt] more comfortable. We’ve come really close in such a short amount of time. They’re awesome.”

Part of the experience included attending CHS for a few days with a member from their family. The Austrians noticed major differences between the two school systems right away. In Austria, students take twelve subjects, in comparison to the seven available at CHS. Also, CHS students have the luxury of choosing electives, but in Austria, students do not get that option.

Outside of school, the Austrians experienced Southern California’s exciting culture. Their host families made sure to show them all of the amusing places locals enjoy. These places included Six Flags, Disneyland, local malls, along with other famous attractions.

The Austrians seemed very impressed and were entertained the whole visit.

“Here it’s a little bigger and a little crazier,” Austrian Student Andrea Grgic said. “[My favorite things I’ve done were going] shopping and to Disneyland.”

Eating out was also part of the experience. California offered a variety of food that the Austrians had never tasted. There was no verdict in whose food they liked better because they agreed that they are too different.

“[In California there is] a lot of Mexican food and a lot of fast food,” Grgic said.

After the fourteen days of eating out, site seeing and attending school, it was time to say goodbye. In the end, the Austrian students agreed that they would love to come back again to go see places and do things they did not get to do during their visit, to visit their host families and to just experience life in Southern California again.

“I would love to come back again [and have] more time to shop [and re-visit my family]. I have a good relationship with them,” Grgic said.