Crossing Oceans : German Exchange Students

Caroline Faulkner, News Writer and Photographer

This past March 20th through 30th, twelve high school students originating from Melle, Germany, along with two of their teachers, visited TMHS to get a firsthand look at what life is like in an American high school. For the duration of their 10-day stay, the exchange students were hosted by students part of the TMHS German Program, who also gave them an introduction to the culture and inner-workings of an American high school.

This monumental experience has given teachers like David Hoeing, a former exchange student from Germany 20 years ago, an opportunity to relive and share their experience with the newer generations of students. The annual exchange of students between Tomball and Telgte, Tomball’s sister city in Germany, has had a significant impact on the community for the past 30 years or so, nurturing a strong relationship between the two cities.

Student guest, Adrian Flade, is surprised by the differences in size between Texas and his home country. “Everything is bigger, especially the cars and houses,” Flade said. “The school is way bigger than ours.” Flade isn’t the only student who was pleasantly surprised by the differences between Germany and America; many students shared similar sentiments.

Noah Rassfeld, a student guest, appreciates the casual environment. “I learned that nobody cares who you are and how you look,” Rassfeld said. “I like it.” The welcoming atmosphere has left a positive impression on the visiting students.

Amelie Herde, an exchange student, has been impacted by the hospitality and kindness shown to him. “The people here are so warm and welcoming,” Herde said. “I feel more open.” The collaboration between Texas and Germany is one that thrives on learning and new experiences, and there is no doubt that this experience will leave a lasting impact on both exchange students and their hosts.