Bennit Sieg, our foreign exchange student from Germany, chose to complete his senior year at Brighton High School to continue playign American Football. Bennit has been an exchange student since July so he’s only been here for about 3 months. Some may ask, “What’s an exchange student?” An exchange student is someone who studies abroad and in some cases travels internationally. Changing your world entirely to pursue a new experience is a life altering decision.
Bennit not only came here for a new perspective on education and lifestyle but for sports as well. He was accepted into the varsity football team his first year here. Not only is it a new experience for him but also for the teachers, students, and friends surrounding him.
To enter a totally different civilization can be disorienting. Luckily, Bennit shares a common interest with most Americans.
“ I’ve played American Football since 2011. Before that I played soccer 6 years,” said Bennit Seig (‘17).
This year he gets to experience something most American boys take for granted. He has the opportunity to play football in a small town where it’s typically a big deal. Ironically, Bennit’s first year of playing is Pelton’s first year back, coaching the Brighton High’s Football team.
“There can be obstacles. A couple things have really helped Bennet this season: 1. There are no language barriers with Bennit, so that helps with being able to teach. 2. Bennit comes in with a football background, so he is not starting from scratch learning a sport he has never played before,” said Casey Pelton, Head Coach of the Football Team.
The simplicity of American culture to many natives is totally opposite for Bennet; such as education, food, and the usual teenage things we do. In Germany you can’t choose your own classes or play any sports in school. The food in America is very cultivated and completely different than in Germany. You don’t see the many foods we have here anywhere else.
“I like that there is so many fast food restaurants like Sonic, Arbys, Applebee’s,etc. In Germany we don’t have these restaurants,” said Bennit.
As a senior, Bennit has lots of upperclassmen friends who drive him around. In Germany you can only can start driving at 17 with a parent, and alone at the age of 18.
“I hang out with Bennit every night and he goes wherever we go so he often does go to new places,” said Luke Langhorst (‘18).
When you hear about a foreign exchange student, it sounds exciting and exotic. But really they’re like any other American student, just from another country. The only real difference is Bennit will be leaving friends behind.
“I will miss him, because he has grown into one of my best friends,” said Luke Langhorst (‘18).