A Grand New View: Dennis Shuck


Max Reid

Along with the volkswagen and nutella, Dennis Schuck is the next great German import.

Traveling nearly 5000 miles in order to experience a completely new culture, Dennis Schuck is no ordinary Grandview sophomore.

On August 9th, Dennis traveled from his hometown of Hamburg, Germany, all the way over to Grandview as a foreign exchange student.

“I wanted to learn a new culture and make my English perfect,” Dennis said.

To accomplish his goals, Dennis hopped aboard a 13 hour flight, giving him lots of time to contemplate.

“It (took) the whole day to travel,” Dennis said “I thought about my friends and family in Germany, and I miss them.”

Initially, Dennis’ transition from a tradition rooted Hamburg to a more modern Denver had some frustration.

“The first days (were) really confusing to understand people; people (spoke) so fast,” Dennis said. “The food was new, and it was really not that good. To realize that everything was new and different was a little bit difficult.”

On top of the new food, one of the biggest culture shocks Dennis experienced was the different ways of transportation between Colorado and Hamburg; saying that in Hamburg people mostly rely on public transportation like trains or cabs to get to where they want to go, while in Colorado we rely on our friends or parents giving us rides to different places.

“It’s amazing. I know that I’m here for only the school year but I want to do (everything).”

Dennis also experienced some dissatisfaction with the unpredictable weather here in Colorado.

“The weather can change so fast to rainy and it can get a little bit crazy,”

Luckily,since school has started, Dennis has adjusted well and has been too busy to have his mind occupied by friends and family, saying that his studies takes most of his attention now.

As well as the absence of his friends and family, one of the biggest differences in Dennis’ life is the sharp contrast of the more relaxed American school system and the strict, uniform German school system.

“Here you can choose your level, but (there) you go away and you have this level,” Dennis said. “After elementary school, you can (either) go to a Hauptschule school, to a Realschule school which is the middle level, (or) a Gymnasium which is the highest. A Gymnasium is that you work more on your own on special words and thinking with your brain, while the haupt school and the real school you work more in a team. What you learn in a gymnasium you learn in two languages or three.”

Dennis went to a Gymnasium school back in Germany, which differed greatly from Grandview.

“(Here) the teacher talks for like ten minutes or something and it’s boring,” Dennis said. “Here, when you work hard you (get) a good grade, but in Germany you have to be smart — really smart — (to) get a good grade, and you don’t have to work much. If you’re stupid, it’ll be much harder.”

Not only are the school systems vastly different, but teenage culture in Germany is very distinctive. While teenagers at Grandview mostly make friends and hang out within the school, teenagers in Hamburg make friends in separate sports clubs in their own freetime. Due to this, friend groups in Hamburg usually consist of friends that go to a multitude of different school, with most friends not attending the same school.

The friendliness of people in Germany is also little more cold than here in Grandview.

“People here are more opened minded and say ‘hey, hello’, but in Germany you have (only) eight people in your friend group,” Dennis said. “it’s not like America where everyone is welcoming, everyone is direct,”

After two difficult yet incredible months of living in Colorado, Dennis has adjusted well and seems very excited for the rest of the school year.

“It’s amazing. I know that I’m here for only the school year but I want to do (everything).”