Cover of the Newspaper
Trip Start Jul 20, 2012
23Trip End Jun 28, 2013
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Web address of the original article; http://www.kreiszeitung.de/nachrichten/landkreis-verden/verden/vielleicht-noch-foto-angie-2674734.html
Translation into English;
Perhaps another Picture with Angie
Verden - COUNTY · As his country's ambassador, so to speak, Brandon Borke (18) from the State of Michigan in the United States will be living for a year with his host parents Birgit Türk and Volker Kassebeer in Achim-Baden.
This stay was made possible to him by the scholarship called ‘Parliamentary Sponsorship Program’ (PPP or CBYX stateside), a collaboration of the German Bundestag [Parliament] and the United States Congress. Andreas Mattfeldt (CDU), Member of Parliament for the constituency Osterholz-Verden, has taken over the support of Brandon during his stay in Germany. He welcomed the exchange student and his host family to the Verden office of the CDU on Bahnhof Street. The young American, whom has been with his host family almost five months, talked about his life in Germany.
Brandon feels very comfortable with his host parents and finds it very nice. He gets along well with host brothers Matthias (19) and Jurek (17), but only the younger of the two still lives at home. In Germany Brandon has settled in well. He attends school at the Cato Bontjes van Beek Gymnasium. "The school can be difficult at times," he says, “especially the subjects German and Politics.” Although Brandon speaks German very well, sometimes he has had trouble following the lessons. On the other hand, he finds Biology and Chemistry easier. Here is the language barrier is not as high, as there are many Latin terms that are identical in both countries. He is thrilled by the support at school. Teacher Kristin Haltermann is the contact person for all exchange students, and once a week there is a fixed date where everything important is discussed. "She takes care of the language, books, the bus tickets, etc.; that is really great," says the young American.
Brandon had to get used to the higher population density in Germany, which is [almost seven] times as high in his home country. His hometown Hubbard Lake is only a small town, surrounded by nature. Brandon is likes to hunt in his spare time there. “Only 30,000 inhabitants live in the entire… county," he says. He travels to school every day by bus, the nearest large town is accessible only after several hours of driving. "Here I can ride my bike to school, and many major cities are no more than an hour away," he marvels.
But the leisure time of the young American is well filled. In school, he has made friends and is also often times invited to parties. He is also a guest member with the Shooting Club-Baden, with the Scouts and with a Christian youth group. As he is almost on the doorstep of the Baden station, he is often traveling by train. He has already seen a ‘Werder Bremen’ game and visited the Christmas Market in Bremen.
A highlight of his stay in Germany is still waiting in the spring. Andreas Mattfeldt has invited him and his family to a three-day trip to Berlin. Of course, there will also be a visit to the Bundestag [Parliament Building] and the Federal Chancellery [Chancelor’s House] on the program. "Maybe here I can take a picture with Angie [Angela Merkel- German Cancelor]," hopes Brandon."