From Germany to Texas: The Journey of an Exchange Student

Exchange students in Texas

I want to tell you about my great year with my host dad, Mr. Steck, in Abilene, Texas, and being a foreign exchange student at Lueders Avoca High School.

When I arrived, my host dad encouraged me to get involved in athletics in order to quickly meet friends and become more involved. I started the school year by practicing and learning American football, which I have never played before because we don’t have the sport in Germany.

My high school was small, but this gave me and the other exchange students the opportunity to participate in many activities. In my opinion, this size of the school is the best for exchange students.  Getting to play football is something I wouldn’t have been able to do in a larger school, so I am very happy to have attended Lueders Avoca.

My host dad, Mr. Steck, is a terrific kind of person. He is super patient and understanding.  He used his time to take me back and forth to practice every day, something that shows his compassion and care for me, so I could have a great year in his home. My host dad asked me if I wanted to be involved in tennis, and took me to a tennis club in Abilene to practice. Mr. Steck gave me a huge opportunity to train, so I could be competitive on my school’s team. He often took me up to five times a week to practice, including the weekends. He did all of this because he believed in me. I ended up being the district 13-A overall champion in boys’ singles tennis and advanced to the regional meet in San Angelo, Texas.

Mr. Steck is a loving host dad. He is really smart and I learned nearly more from him than I did in school! He taught me how to be a great worker, be competitive, believe in myself, mature, and grow up. Mr. Steck is a proud Texan, and I really liked his traditions. He took me to awesome places all over Texas, including some college football, NBA, and NHL games.

I also have great teachers who support me and want me to be successful. My teachers tell me they are very blessed to have me in their school.  I have made the A-honor roll every six-weeks. I have learned so much that will help me when I return back to my school in Germany.

I don’t feel like a visitor at my host home or school. Instead, I feel like I’m part of their school, traditions, and lives. The students treat me with respect, and I have made many friends who I will probably keep in touch with after I return home.

I don’t believe anybody has had as much luck as I have during this amazing year in the United States. I had the BEST host dad in the BEST state, and I am super glad to have had the opportunity to learn many new sports, improve my English, and make really important connections with new people.

If I hadn’t experienced this year, I would have missed out on a lot. I am very grateful for having this amazing opportunity and to have had such a great host dad.  He will be a part of my life forever.  He will always be my US dad.

Thank you,

Max Grohmann

ISE class of ’16/17


We invite you to read more about hosting a foreign exchange student. If you have specific questions about hosting, check out our host family FAQ page. You can also read testimonials from our past and current host families. When you feel ready, complete our host family interest form and our area representative will get in touch with you.

You can also get involved by joining our team of Area Representatives! Help match host families and exchange students and bring the world closer together, while making a supplemental income.


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