A short visit to discover American culture

Far from Home – Konrad Grunwald: Germany


Konrad returns home at the end of 2021.

For the fall semester, Konrad Grunwald has been living in California, but he is originally from Muenster, Germany, a city with 350,000 inhabitants. Those looking it up on a map would find that it is about one hour from Cologne.

“I came to Armijo through an exchange program, which some people do. Basically you go to a different country with a different culture,” he said. Since August, he has lived with an American host family, but he misses his friends and family, as well as his school and city in Germany. While he has been here, he played a little American football “just to try it because I didn’t know much about it before. Now I do track, which I really enjoy,” he said.

Grunwald described his hometown as “pretty, especially the old town with old buildings and churches. But most of the city is pretty modern.”

He described Muenster as “a biker city,” describing it as a little like Davis in that there is a popular university in town with a lot of students. “The public transportation is also pretty good and used by everyone from young to old.”

Armijo and American high schools in general are different from the schools he is familiar with in Germany “because they have a school spirit, which is pretty different to Germany. We don’t have high school sport teams and leagues,” he said. Instead, sports and activities are done outside of school in more of a club environment.

Something that is the same between American and German high schools is the COVID mask requirement, and Grunwald mentioned that it was something he doesn’t like from either country, but it is a necessity.

Grunwald is a junior, but when he graduates from school in Germany, he said that he might study Information Technology (IT) and Economics. He considered coming to the United States, but it would be expensive when he could get the same level of education in Germany for almost free.

“America is a really interesting place and I met a lot of interesting people,” he said. “I am thankful that I signed up back in Germany and I think it was a great thing to do while I’m still young.”