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German native dives into American lifestyle

October 27, 2013
by Brock Buesing - Register Staff Writer (bbuesing@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Amelie Bachmann wasted no time getting acclimated into American lifestyle.

Bachmann arrived in Blue Earth on Aug. 3. She was hosted by the Tami and Travis Armstrong family, along with Addison and Tea. The Armstrongs already had a wedding to go to that next weekend in Granite Falls.

Following her first wedding, the family went to the Omaha Zoo and a water park. Soon after, she started volleyball practice at Blue Earth Area High School.

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"It was very busy and hectic, but I loved it," Bachmann says. "There are so many new things here compared to back home. I find myself sitting in class thinking about what I have going on for the rest of the day- and even week- sometimes."

Bachmann is from Fellbach, Germany, and is not used to having a full schedule all the time. She says that schools in Germany do not have as many activities.

"I have never played volleyball before, but it seemed like a fun experience," Bachmann says. "I want to get the most out of this exchange student program and do things I would not normally do in Germany."

Back home she really enjoys dancing and belly dancing. A belly dancing club was only 10 minutes away from her home. She has been doing it for the last two years.

Bachmann also plans on doing gymnastics at BEA this upcoming winter. She believes her belly dancing experience will carry over and help her grasp gymnastics.

"The best part about having Amelie around is her willingness to try and do different things," host parent Tami Armstrong says. "It is scary to put yourself out there and do something different for a change."

The most glaring differences Bachmann says are the proportion sizes of food, cheap gas prices, quality of acting on television shows and deer roaming around freely.

"Honestly, there are not a lot of big differences, but there are quite a few small differences," Bachmann says. "The first time I saw deer running across the road I seriously freaked out."

Another difference is the recommendation as to what to do after high school graduation. According to Bachmann, jobs and corporations in Germany want older kids with life experience.

"Teachers recommend to take some time off after high school graduation," Bachmann says. "College is not a common choice for new high school graduates."

The German native did not know what to expect coming to America. She only knew that she was very curious and excited.

Bachmann did not fully commit on doing the exchange student program until late March of this year.

She recalls one of her friends telling her about the exchange student program. Bachmann always was curious about life in America, so the decision was easy, she says.

"My days seemed to be so robotic," Bachmann says. "It was the best choice I have ever made."

Since she has been here, Bachmann admits her English has become more fluent. Being around so many English speakers really helps her concentrate on what she is actually saying.

Her parents, Hermann and Sibylle Bachmann, along with her sister Lucia,14, has also loved the experience according to Bachmann. Lucia gets her bigger sister's wardrobe while she is gone to America.

"Being a Buccaneer and being a part of a high school with so much school spirit has been a great change of pace for me," Bachmann says.

The school day is two hours longer here according to Bachmann. In Germany, the school day ends at 1 p.m.

"At first it felt like a very long day, but I like it now," Bachmann says. "I really enjoy my practical software class because back home we use computers for everything and not everyone knows basic technology skills."

In addition to being pleased with American high school life, her favorite American food by far is taco salad. She also believes that the quality of McDonald's and Subway is second to none.

"The Armstrongs have been so great and I could not have asked for a better host family," Bachmann says. "It is never boring and there is never a quiet minute around here."

 
 

 

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