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Kinner finds American different from media reports PDF Print E-mail
Friday, December 07, 2012 3:18 PM

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DELPHOS — After spending some time amongst Americans, German cultural exchange student Dominik Kinner has come to realize that the media he is exposed to on a daily basis isn’t always right.

“What the media says is different than what I saw. Not every American is totally fat and eating at McDonald’s every day, or taking their car for 200 meters,” he said. “I would prefer it if more Americans wouldn’t take the car that much, if they would walk more if it’s like a mile or something, but there are people in Germany that don’t do that, either.”

Despite the stereotype American cuisine has formed, Kinner says he enjoys eating it.

“I like the food, even if it makes you fat sometimes,” he said. “I like burgers and Pop Tarts, even though I don’t eat them that much. I also like cheeseburgers and the many pops you have here. We don’t have free refills in Germany. In the next town over from where I live, which would be like Lima for you, we have several McDonald’s and only one has free refills.”

While here in the United States, Kinner, 15, is staying with Jane Keirns and her son J.R.

“Jane’s cooking is awesome,” Kinner said. “J.R. is two days younger than I am, which was the first thing I knew about him.”

Keirns and her son have been making Kinner feel at home and keeping him entertained with trips and activities.

“We’ve gone to Cedar Point and Niagara Falls and Tennessee,” Kinner said. “I really like to play X-Box, too, it’s fun. After three months I won for the first time and I was so happy.

Back home in Werther, Germany, Kinner participates in track & field, as well as other sports, and says that school is harder.

“School is more difficult in Germany; you don’t have the same thing every day,” he said. “Like here, you have the same thing first period all week. It variates in Germany. We have a different school system. There are three different schools after preschool and the highest one is called ‘gymnasium,’ like where you make sport. The only way you can go to college is if you graduate from that.”
When Kinner graduates, he hopes to enter the field of law like his mother, just not the same profession.

“I would love to go into the law direction. My mom is a judge and at first that always seemed boring to me,” he said. “It’s getting interesting for me now because I like to think about what happens if you do this and what you are allowed to do. But I don’t want to be a judge; that’s too boring.

Kinner and the other five cultural exchange students go back to Germany on Saturday. Kinner says he would recommend the experience to friends and family back home.

“My sister asked me if she would like it here and I said yes; everybody loves America, or parts of it,” he said. “Some parts are worse than in Germany and in Germany some parts are worse than in America. Every country has its positives and negatives.”
If given the opportunity, Kinner says he would gladly return.

“I would love to come back because it’s like I’ve seen nothing. I want to see Atlanta and Florida and California. Maybe I want to see my host family again, too,” he joked. “I would like to thank Jane and J.R. for hosting me. I’ve had an awesome time with them, doing fun stuff like playing X-Box and sleeping on the roof.”

Kinner’s parents are Hieke and Dietmar and he has one sister, Nicole, 13.


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