Giovanni Pitzurra and Marie Ahrend

Giovanni Pitzurra and Marie Ahrend were foreign exchange students at Bremen High School this year.

Giovanni Pitzurra of Italy and Marie Ahrend of Germany are wrapping up their only year at Bremen High School, and are preparing to return to their home countries.

But both students are leaving with an apparent love for the town of Bremen.

“It’s a small community, but everyone helped you,” Pitzurra said. “They made it easier than what it would have been in a bigger city.”

Pitzurra and Ahrend explained that as exchange students, they get to choose the country they wish to study in, but not the area. Ahrend said some of her friends were placed in high schools with thousands of students, while she and Pitzurra were placed in Bremen, which has a graduating class of about 125 students.

“From a point of view, it’s even better because it’s easier to get into the community,” Pitzurra said. “Especially if you’re active with sports and activities.”

And the lower number of people didn’t stop Ahrend from verifying a couple of stereotypes she said Germans hold about Americans.

“In Germany, we have two stereotypes: we say Americans are loud and Americans are nice — very nice and open,” she said. “And I’d say both of these are true. Very nice and helpful.”

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