Over the past summer, several Timber Creek students traveled to Germany and stayed at the house of a German student they were paired with, also known as their “brother” or “sister.” They went to school alongside their “brother” or “sister,” where they learned and experienced how their education system compares to the United States. Now, the time came for German exchange students to visit Texas.
Read part 1 of this story here: Timber Creek Welcomes German Exchange Students
German exchange students attempted to arrive at Timber Creek High School on Monday, Oct. 22. They were scheduled to arrive around 6 p.m. but their bus broke down in Glen Rose, and they didn’t arrive until about 11 p.m. From there, they went to their host’s house for the night.
Now that the Timber Creek students were hosting, it was their responsibility to plan activities and outings during the week, so their German brother or sisters can experience life in Keller, Texas.
“It was different hosting because I felt like everything had to be perfect. I wanted everyone to like [Amelie] and I wanted her to have a lot of fun,” senior Sofia Galvan said about her experience hosting her ‘host sister’. “It took me a few days to realize it didn’t have to be completely perfect, because she’s here to see how I normally live, which isn’t perfect at all.”
During their stay in Texas, the German students alternated between field trips to further explore North Texas and school days as a Timber Creek student. At school, German students sat in class with their Texan brother or sister and walked their schedule for the day.
“Guiding [Amelie] through school was so fun because our school is just so much bigger than hers and we have so many more students. She did get tired really easy though, because we don’t have breaks in-between classes like they do,” Galvan said. “She got a bit scared going through that main and C-hall intersection, I thought it was funny.”
On Thursday, Oct. 25, the students made presentations and answered any questions about their German culture to whatever class their brother or sister were in. Philip Mathen, Xaver Zirngibl, and Franz Pfefferkorn did their presentation of the Alps and thenceforth were questioned about Whataburger and asked to say “Howdy Partner” in the best Southern accent they could. They have all been speaking English for seven years and speak our language tremendously well.
They were asked other questions such as “What’s the biggest difference between Germany and Texas?” They responded by looking out the window and saying “No mountains” with a slight chuckle.
Before arriving to Keller, the German students explored other cities such as Houston, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio. They were able to see many different aspects of Texan culture and way of life.
“The most memorable [moment] was taking [Amelie] and Valentin to get tacos because they had me order for them and when we got our food, they were like ‘So… how do you eat this? With a fork?'” Galvan said.
Compared to Timber Creek, their school in Germany does not have a very strictly enforced dress code, and they are not allowed to be on their phones at all during school hours.
“When I was in Germany, we had to use our phones as a map to get around the school, and a teacher saw me with my phone and came up to me and started yelling at me in German,” said senior Cameron Yancy. If they are caught on their cell phones they will be taken away, and the students won’t see them for the next two weeks.
They were asked what their favorite American movie is in which they responded “American Sniper is my favorite but not so much Venom.”
The German exchange students are to leave Texas on Friday, Nov. 2.
“It’s amazing to see how accepting everyone was of the exchange students, I was afraid it would cause problems in my classes, like interrupting classes, but everything has gone very smoothly,” senior Audrey Weight said about her German sister, Sophie. “I wish [Sophie] could stay longer, but I can’t wait until we get to see each other again.”