Students talkabout overseas schools, lifestyles

Ramstein High School had a unique set of graduates this year, 21 students who had attended Department of Defense Education Activity schools their entire lives.Several of the students spoke about their Department of Defense Dependent Schools experiences.
Victor Bates, schools in Panama and Ramstein: We’ve enjoyed not only the knowledge of the world but have experienced it first hand. Now it’s time to move on to the States and I am going to be shocked. The diversity won’t be the same and its going to be strange when everyone speaks English instead of a foreign language.
Kevin Galos, schools in Spain, England and Ramstein: I feel grateful that the military has given me an opportunity to live and experience England. I will be going to an acting college in London. The DODDS schools have encouraged me to be more cultural and stronger as a person. For that I am thankful.
Michael Gomez, Ramstein schools: It was horrible watching your friends leave every month or year of your life. I guess some of teachers were the closest thing I had for friends that have actually stayed here.
Arlandus Guest, schools in Ft. Knox, Ky., Schweinfurt and Ramstein: It has been fun going to school overseas. I’ve seen my friends come and go and that has been painful but I’m looking forward to playing basketball in a stateside school.
Jessica Lock, schools in Kreuzberg, Landstuhl and Ramstein: I am going to miss here, it’s home. For college in the States, two words: culture shock. I am open-minded with little prejudice. It’s really hard losing your friends every year and it’s not always easy to make new ones. You can’t say, “Hey, remember when..” because no one is left who remembers. DODDS, and more importantly the teachers in it, have made me who I am.
Tiffany Lowder, schools at Ramstein: I will miss being in a DODDS schools because the environment is very secure and the students are friendly. Moving to the U.S. will be my first experience in a public school. I hope it will be as inviting as a DODDS school.
Tyeshia Marsch, schools in Turkey and Ramstein: Being in Europe all my life has been a journey, one that I would not trade for anything. I have found that being in a DODDS school has given me an education that no school in the States can provide. .
Hanna Meyer, schools in Bad Kreuznach and Ramstein: Having lived overseas my whole life makes me apprehensive about moving to the States. An ever shifting student body forces one to be outgoing and accepting. One learns to deal with the pain of saying goodbye to old friends and the trials and uncertainties of making new ones. I’m excited to finally know what it’s like to go for breakfast at 2 in the morning.
(Courtesy DODDS-Europe)