“How many of you are married?” This was the first question our professor asked on our first day of class. About 50 percent of the students raised their hand. All of them were Mormon. Before we came, we knew that Utah is the “LDS hotspot”, but it was still unfamiliar to see so many people our age who are married.
We are two exchange students from Germany and we noticed some differences between our daily routines and the routines of our classmates from Utah. It starts in the morning when we decide on what to wear. When it’s 95 degrees Fahrenheit outside, we still feel the need to take a sweater with us because of the air conditioning. A friend warned us that it will be the exact opposite in the winter and Americans turn up the heat really high. It seems like Americans only know two extremes and no in between like in Germany. By the way, the stereotype about Germans wearing socks in sandals is something Americans live by. Not many people in Germany wear socks in their sandals. We also never see people in pajamas in our German school “Westfälische Hochschule”.
Many people ask us about the differences of German and American food. On our first day at UVU, we were astonished by the different restaurants in the school cafeteria, like Taco Bell. It reminded us of a shopping mall. We have a “Mensa” at our school in Germany, where they offer their own cooked meals that differ every day.
When we smell waffles in Germany, there is a 100 percent chance that faculty is selling them to earn some money for their parties. At UVU, we can take the waffles for free, thanks to the high tuition fees. Our American friend, who did the same exchange program and went to Germany, laughed about the fee we pay in Germany. Sometimes we get home late after classes because the buses are not on time or do not show up at all. Once we arrive at home we can get excited for doing homework. The students here are stunned when we tell them that we do not have homework at our University in Germany. “That’s like paradise,” Carlos, second year graphic design, said.
Another difference is that we get to join sports teams and clubs outside of our German school. UVU offers many fun events every week, which makes it impossible (especially considering the homework and late buses) to attend all of them. But, when we do manage to go to games, speeches or parties we always have a good time.
Despite these differences, we like the spirit of UVU and are happy to have the opportunity to study in this beautiful state.
This article was written by Jule Opp & Verena Uhlenbusch.