Sophomore foreign exchange student returns to Germany


Ian Mayral Boyle

Wiesinger visited The Guggenheim in New York this February with his host family, the Boyles.

Laney Chang, Online Section Editor

Instead of packing his suitcase full of swimsuits and summer garb for a vacation or overnight camp, Moritz Wiesinger will be bringing all of his belongings on a 14-hour flight back to Dortmund, Germany, on May 24.

Wiesinger, a sophomore, arrived in the U.S. on Aug. 14 to join the SJS community for a year as a foreign exchange student. According to junior Ian Mayral Boyle, whose family hosted Wiesinger, the two have grown close since then.

“At first, it was weird because you have this person who you’ve never seen before sleeping a few feet away from you,” Mayral Boyle said. “You get used to it, and we became friends.”

Wiesinger came to the U.S. through the non-profit organization Assist, which helps match international students with American independent schools. When the Boyles heard that Wiesinger was planning to attend SJS, they reached out to World Languages Department Chair Aline Means and offered to host him.

“My mom has always wanted that multicultural experience,” Mayral Boyle said. “I thought it would be really fun.”

Wiesinger joined the School to experience a more rigorous academic course load. He didn’t, however, expect to travel to other states like New Mexico, Utah and New York with the Boyles over his breaks.

“Obviously, the reason why he came here is to experience another country, so we showed him the Mesas in Utah and [took him to] the Rodeo,” Mayral Boyle said.

Though he has enjoyed his time in the U.S., Wiesinger says he is looking forward to returning to Dortmund.

“I miss my family and German food,” Wiesinger said. “I FaceTime my parents on weekends, though, and we write messages on weekdays.”

According to Wiesinger, America is somewhat culturally similar to Germany, which made it easier for him to adjust. When he returns to Dortmund, he will have to acclimate to the patterns of his old school, Helene Lange Gymnasium, since he will resume sophomore-level classes until mid-July.

“I can wake up later here, which will be a problem [in Germany],” Wiesinger said. “I’m also not used to the German schedule with 14 classes.”

Wiesinger addressed the Upper School on April 25 during the Final Recognition Assembly to thank the Boyles, his teachers and friends for his experience in the U.S.

“I really enjoyed my year abroad,” Wiesinger said. “I’m going to miss everyone here and the School.”