Not a dev question but a cultural question for any of the German devs I’ve seen post here.

My American daughter is living in Germany on an exchange student program. She’s frustrated right now because her host dad and host brother are being really rude and impatient with her over her difficulties with speaking the language. She currently writes it better than she speaks but that and her efforts to keep trying don’t seem to matter to them. This conflict spills over into other social interactions. They constantly berate and make fun of her over everything. The host mom and host sister are nicer and more patient. But they also have to put up with this boorish behavior from the males.

On a train ride home, my daughter was sexually propositioned no less than three times in one hour by three different men. And at festivals she went to where there was lots of drinking, it was even worse.

A German exchange student we once had living with us here in the US regularly broke program rules, slept around, and even downloaded child porn on our network (highly illegal and alarming). My wife was the coordinator for many years to govern the students who came here from many countries and we struggle to think of any but one or two German boys who acted like gentlemen toward ladies.

So is it just a “German guy” thing and commonly accepted in the culture? Or is this type of behavior generally frowned upon and these guys are just in a minority of jerks that we keep having the bad luck of running into?

I know the same question can be and is often asked about American men, too. But I’m more interested in knowing how Germans view Germans who act this way.

  • 3
    i would say thats fucked up. They choose to have her home so they should be patient. but downloading child porn is another level of fucked up. He could go to jail no problem and nobody could help him at that point.
  • 5
    Drinking and sex have another postition in society in germany than it has in the USA. In general in europe we think that teenagers have to make experience with it. In order to handle this as an adult properly. Also in Germany it's a lot safer than it is in the USA. I've heard that in the us people worry all the time because of the media painting a very dark picture of the world. Shootings, gang violence, personal bankruptcy because of lacking healthcare is nearly non existent in Germany.

    Although beeing harassed and treated disrespectful of any kind is not ok. Where ever you are in the world.
    You may ask the excange programm to change families.
  • 5
    I think it was like 10 years ago or so that the "PickUp" trend was big among German adolescents. Which explains hitting up random women in trains, especially when they are alone. Dunno whether that's still trendy, I'm not in contact with people that young.

    Another factor is where in Germany you are. In the south or in Berlin, it's normal to talk to strangers. In the north, people feel even harassed in shops when staff comes up to them without being asked. May I ask which German state she's in?

    As for the language, German as foreign language is a bitch - even French is easier. But some native speakers probably don't realise that, especially when they themselves fail to speak anything else.
  • 1
    @Alice I'm rarely in the Eastern part of the country, but random people in Bavaria are way more chatty than in Hamburg.
  • 1
    @Fast-Nop she’s near Bremen in the north. Thanks for your perspective. I hadn’t known about the pickup trend but that sounds like what might have been going on.
  • 3
    No, it's not a "German guy" thing and definitely not socially accepted

    They're just being assholes

    Sorry to hear that you've had so many negatives experiences with us :/
  • 4
    Thanks for all your input. I’m happy to report that my daughter is being moved to a new family. They just have to find that family first.
Add Comment