Q&A: Cristocea adapting to U.S. lifestyle

CHS9 student Coodrin Cristocea moved from Germany this August. Cristocea was CHS9’s September Student of the Month.

Anthony Onalaja

CHS9 student Coodrin Cristocea moved from Germany this August. Cristocea was CHS9’s September Student of the Month.

Avani Kashyap, Staff Writer

Codrin Cristocea was chosen as Student of the Month in September by his teachers at CHS9. Cristocea moved from Munich, Bavaria in Germany four months ago and is excited to experience the unique opportunities the United States has to offer.

What are some differences between Germany and the United States?

I would say the students and the teachers are way more friendly than in Germany. In Germany, school ended at 1 p.m. and we also had more subjects than here. We get to choose subjects here, but in Germany, we have to take all of them. [The subjects were German, Latin, chemistry, physics, biology, English, French, programming, religion, music, art, athletics, math, geography, theater and world history]. There were also three kinds of schools [which were] Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium and you had to have a specific grade to get into one. [Cristocea went to Gymnasium after taking a placement test in fourth grade.]

Another big difference is that here in Texas, you can’t go anywhere without a car. In Germany, I lived right next to my school. Here, I have to drive a lot longer. Everything is bigger and far away here. In a city in Germany, everything is in a circle and there is a center with a big open place where there are restaurants and cinemas. Here, that doesn’t really exist, and it is all spread out.

What challenges have you faced and how have you had to adapt?

One challenge is that school is a lot of stress. In Germany, the school was more challenging for me, but there was not as much stress. Here, we have a new project every two weeks, and every day we have a new deadline.

First, I was a bit afraid that I would have problems with my English because I only learned English for three years in Germany. It was a main subject in Germany, but the normal lessons were taught in German. However, every week it gets better, and I don’t have any problems anymore. 

What are your hobbies?

I am a fishing fan, and I like going outside and hiking. I also like sports such as basketball and dance, and I am in wrestling [at CHS9]. In general, athletics in the U.S. are much more important than in Germany. It’s tougher here, but I like it because wrestling is a lot of fun.

What do you miss most about Germany?

What I miss most about Germany is my friends, but I also miss the food from Germany. The food here in the United States isn’t bad, but it is just different from what I am used to in Germany. Sometimes it really hurts when you see a pretzel here and you remember the pretzel in Germany. When you eat the original one and eat a pretzel here, it’s completely different.

I also miss the cold weather a little bit. At the moment, it is great, but when I arrived here in the summer, the heat was a whole new level for me. In Germany, you do not have more than two weeks of hot weather, but here it is the whole summer.

What do you enjoy about the United States?

What I enjoy about the U.S. is that you can do anything you want. There are a lot of activities you can do, and anything you could imagine, you can find here. I like how there are many possibilities. My future goals are to experience as many different cultures and places as possible. One day, I want to be able to say I experienced everything I wanted to in my life.

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