TCU hosts six students from Germany

Six students from Germany (seated) are pictured with their host teenager, standing behind them. They are (from left) Michael Stark and Mac Malecha, Clara Bohnlein and Brittany Berdan, Florian Haase and Robert Johnson, Katharina Eckart and Allison Odenthal, Laila Burkardt and Kaitlyn Von Rump, and Felicia Jilke and Victoria Roberts. (Wade Young Photo)


Easter or spring vacations are common for many United States students. Some choose to travel somewhere warm, while others will choose to travel to the mountains or big city. Some will also just choose a vacation close to home.

For six students from Hassfurt, Germany, Easter break brought them across the world to live in cities in the TCU District. Hassfurt is located in the state of Bovaria, in the central part of the country.

Clara Böhnlein, Michael Stark, Florian Haase, Felicia Jilke, Katharina Eckart and Laila Burkardt are calling TCU and their host families home for the next couple of days during their Easter break from school in Germany.

The six arrived in the states on Saturday, March 30 for their two-week visit. Last Friday, the Messenger sat down with them to get their impressions of the U.S., Montgomery and TCU High School.

Michael Stark commented that our roads aren’t as good as those in Germany. He also added that our cars are very big compared to German ones.

Until now, Katharina Eckart had never been to the U.S. She said she the only  impressions she had of Americans came from television shows. After arriving on U.S. soils she said it is exciting to see everything looks as it is on television. 

“Here you can see real life, how the teens go to school, not just they way they are on T.V,” she said.

She also commented on the lack of large cities, and said when her host family Ted and Tracy Odenthal brought her to Montgomery, they bypassed Minneapolis/St. Paul and brought her to the countryside. So for her for now, the U.S. is a lot of countryside.

Some of the students have also seen Minnesota’s cultural and shopping mega-mall, the Mall of America. Clara Böhnlein said her host family, Brian and Lisa Berdan took her there when she first arrived. She described it as “very big, loud, with a lot of people.” 

The other exchange students said they have plans to visit the shopping mall soon before they return to Germany.

As far as coursework, the  exchange students said some of the material they’re studying at TCU is the same as what they study in Germany, like math for example. However they don’t take any classes like foods or health, advisor or study halls in their home country. 

One thing that is very different for all of the students is American food. Florian Haase exclaimed that, “It is very unhealthy, but we like it!”

The TCU students who are studying German will see their German friends again this summer when they travel to Germany for the German Club’s trip to that country.