Miramonte’s Fine, Fabulous and Foreign

Elizabeth Chenok, Staff Writer

With every new year at Miramonte, there are many fresh faces. However, this year, two new students might stick out from the average new kid. Michael Cizek and Leonhard Von Deimling are two foreign exchange students studying at Miramonte this year. Believe it or not, there is a lot more to these two boys than their charming accents. Mirador asks tthem about their lives back home compared to Orinda.

Mirador: What are the biggest differences between Germany and the US?

Leonhard Von Diemling: The meals, the school, and the weather. In Germany it’s not as hot for this long, or as dry.

M: What do you miss the most?

LVD: I miss my friends and family, but not that much because I have friends and a new family here.

M: How is the school system different here?

LVD: Here every day the periods are the same. In Germany, every day is different – it’s a block schedule. You also are not able to choose what classes you want in Germany.

M: What’s something you want to do here before you leave?

LVD: I haven’t been to San Francisco yet. I’m really excited. Last year I visited so I know the area but I miss it and want to go back and spend more time there.

M: What is your favorite American food?

LVD: I like the orange juice here. I don’t know why.

M: What will you miss the most about the US when you leave?

LVD: The family, friends, and probably the school.

M: Did you get to choose to come to California?

LVD: No. I knew my host family before coming here so I told the organization that I wanted to be with them. My dad lived with my host dad for a year 35 years ago. My dad was a foreign exchange student just like me, and now I’m staying with their family. It’s really cool.

Mirador: What do you miss most about the Czech Republic?

Michael Cizek: I don’t know… probably my friends but I have friends here.

M: What’s here that you don’t have there?

MC: Sun. It’s cold there, but not in the summer. But here, the weather is more stable.

M: How is school here different than in the Czech Republic?

MC: We have to study everything; we don’t have choices, like Biology, Economics, etc.  And our classes are different every day. Each lesson lasts 45 minutes and we usually have nine lessons a day.

M: What’s something you want to do while you’re here.

MC: Visit as much as possible to see everything. Enjoy my American life here.

M: What’s your favorite food here?

MC: We had burritos and they were delicious. Peanut butter is also something I’ve discovered I love.

M: Did you choose to come here to California?

MC: My town has a partnership with Orinda, so I came here.  Martin (previous foreign exchange student) is from the same school as I am.

M: What’s the hardest part of speaking English? Has it gotten easier since you first arrived?

MC: Yes. I can now concentrate better.  The family could be sitting one meter from me and I was not be able to concentrate; now I can listen and concentrate on what they are talking about.