MERCERVILLE — South Gallia students were broadening their horizons this week for International Education Week.
South Gallia currently has six students through the Foreign Exchange Program, all of which gave presentations about their home country to the school.
Marta Canovas and Beatriz Valle-Inclan are from Spain, Ruojun Lu is from China, Meret Mingers and Lea Hennig are from Germany, and Sviatoslav Hryhorenko is from Ukraine.
Each of the students talked about the differences and similarities between their home and Gallia County. A common theme between the Germans and Spaniards was the influence of American pop music. In their countries nearly all of what is played on the radio are American songs in English.
Canovas gave her opinion on the current issue in Catalonia, exploring the issue of dividing the country and pointed to corrupt politicians as the cause for the divide. Her perspective as a young person gave a realistic, first person view on the problem to South Gallia Students.
Many of the students explored the world of sports in their countries as compared to America. Nearly all of the students that spoke are fans of soccer, while American students are more diverse in the sports they play and watch, according to Canovas.
The German students, Mingers and Hennig, explored several interesting aspects of their culture. While discussing music and soccer, they also discussed stereotypes of Germans.
“A lot of people ask if Germans hate Jews, which we don’t,” said Hannig. “They’re people too.”
German students are taught about Hitler in schools in detail so that history will not repeat itself, the degree of which they contrasted to what they have seen in school so far in America.
The Germans also discussed the culture of beer in Germany, explaining the variety and quality of beer. Despite the lower drinking age in Germany, Mingers explained that they do not drink and party all of the time like the stereotype says they do.
Sarah Shirley helped coordinate the event, preparing students for their presentations.
“This gives them insight into other cultures and gives them a better description of what the world is like outside of Mercerville and Crown City,” said Shirley. “It helps the foreign exchange students relate their culture to us. So we can learn more about them and they can learn more about us.”
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.