GENEVA — Geneva High School has been participating in programs that have allowed overseas students to study in America for more than three decades and welcomed three foreign exchange students for the 2013-2014 school year. This year, the students come from Germany and Kyrgyzstan. Bennet Henking, Maximilian Kühl and Aizada Burkhanidinova have come from their home countries to study in the United States.
Bennet Henking is a sophomore from Nienburg, Niedersachsen, Germany. Henking said he came to the United States because he wanted to know how people live when they are not in Germany. After applying to and enduring an extremely difficult selection process, he was ecstatic to find out that he had been accepted into the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange (CBYX) program, which provides scholarships and the opportunity for German students to study abroad for a year.
At Geneva Henking participates in Boy Scouts, youth group and indoor track, and is Geneva’s current mascot, Tuffy the Eagle. He concedes that America is different from what he’d anticipated.
“I didn’t expect so many fast-food restaurants!” Henking said. He said he has had a fairly easy time adjusting to living in the United States.
Maximilian Kühl is a senior from Neuss, Germany. Kühl said he joined the CBYX program to view a different country and language.
He had a bit of a rough start on his first day. Kühl said he was only kind of used to English and that this made it difficult to understand what was happening on his first day. However, he has flourished at Geneva. Kühl has a full schedule and participates in Boy Scouts and indoor track, where he competes in shot put, sprint and discus. He’s been enjoying his time in America, traveling around the states and seeing as much as he can.