Taking on America one race at a time

From Germany to New York and finally St. Louis, Rebecca Schulte, sophomore, quickly got used to the new environment when she came to America as a German exchange student.

“I was happy that I had the chance [to come to America],” Schulte said. “I knew my host family before I came so it wasn’t that scary, but I was scared that I wouldn’t find my way to my classes because the high school is twice as big as it is in Germany.”

Schulte immediately got involved once her fears went away. She said she wanted to do cross country and play flute in band because it is the best way to meet people. Christina Koch, junior, was one of the people who got to know Schulte.

“Every time someone compliments [Rebecca], she has to make it about the other person and compliment them right back,” Koch said. “She is so easy to be around and fun to talk to.”

While Schulte engaged in many activities at KHS and got to know her host family, she said it was hard to leave her parents and three younger sisters back in Germany. Although Schulte missed her family at home, her host family helped in her involvement at KHS and were able to help her start cross country and band. Gina Woodard, cross country coach, said Schulte’s host father called saying there was a foreign exchange student who wanted to run cross country.

“In addition to being very athletic, she had the second fastest time at the time trial,” Woodard said. “She is also musically talented; the night of the talent show she just jumped in with other girls and played fantastically.”

Along with participating in different activities at KHS, Koch tried to immerse Schulte in the American culture as much as possible.

“We have taken Rebecca to Panera and Festival of Nations,” Koch said. “She even tried macaroni and cheese for the first time.”

Schulte has gotten the chance to see much of what the American high school experience is like and continues to learn and build relationships, as she has already started doing.

“I really like it here,” Schulte said. “It is a bit different than in Germany, but it is great.”