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German Exchange Host

Sophomore+Gene+Gopon+holds+the+German+flag.
Sophomore Gene Gopon holds the German flag.

Sophomore Gene Gopon holds the German flag.

Adam Remels

Adam Remels

Sophomore Gene Gopon holds the German flag.

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German student and sophomore Gene Gopon hosted a foreign exchange student from Germany, Marbod Schrӧter, and introduced him to American school and life. Gopon originally became interested in this opportunity when he learned it was a two-way exchange.

“The program I’m doing is a two way exchange,” Gopon said. “So I get to go to Germany for four weeks by hosting him.”

Because Schrӧter was placed with Gopon’s family, Gopon wanted to make him feel at home. He described what did and did not work.

“We gave him his own room with video games and a TV, so he wasn’t bored out of his mind,” Gopon said. “We also tried to have dinners together as a family, but that died out by the second week.”

Besides having fun at home, Gopon made sure to introduce Schrӧter to his out of school life. Schrӧter joined him on his usual weekend activities.

“We usually spent the weekends out of town either at different beach or lake houses,” Gopon said. “We would also hang out with my friends and go out to eat.”

In addition to local weekend fun, Gopon showed his exchange student interesting parts of Texas. Together, they took part in typical Texan pastimes.

“I took him to San Antonio and Austin, and we took a couple of trips to Galveston,” Gopon said. “We went to a bunch of barbecue festivals and crawfish boils, and he even got to see the anti-gun protest at the Alamo.”

While Gopon showed Schrӧter around, he also learned a lot from Schrӧter. Gopon planned to use what he learned to improve himself.

“I learned that a lot of my German speaking skills needed work,” Gopon said. “It was also interesting to get a lot of opinions from someone who had never been here before.”

When Gopon reflected on the experience as a whole, he valued the experiences he was able to bring to Schrӧter. He also enjoyed the fun and knowledge he gained from the experience of hosting a foreign exchange student.

“It was great to finally have an excuse to do some things that I normally wouldn’t do on the weekends,” Gopon said. “I got to just have some fun.”

 

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