Lars Bandholz


Lars Bandholz, 11. Photo by Angel Tran and Meg Boedeker.

By Zeke Williams

Junior Lars Bandholz, a native of Eckernforde, Germany, is a foreign ex- change student this year at Lincoln High.

Eckernforde is a city of roughly 20,000 people, so moving to Lincoln, Nebras- ka, a city of over 284,000, was a culture shock. Bandholz is part of a 10-month exchange program.

“I wanted to explore the world and I was bored of home,” Bandholz said. “You always see American high schools in Hollywood movies; I wanted to see what it was really like.”
Bandholz’ first thoughts of Lincoln High was just like any other freshman.

“I’m going to totally lose myself in this building,” Bandholz said. “It’s so big, and of course the red lockers are a super American thing.”

Compared to his German education, he says that American schooling isn’t as hard. “American high school is easier,” Bandholz said.

“It’s still stressful; I’m stressed about finals,” Bandholz said. “I just think that I had a harder time in Germany than I do here.”

The fact that tests are such a big part of our grades here confused him.

“Back in Germany, our test, called exams, are a smaller part of our grades, while the quizzes, homework, what you call the formative work here, is much more important,” Bandholz said. He added that his old school didn’t have extra- curriculars, such as show choir, theatre, speech, or debate.

The United States is quite different than how Bandholz originally thought it was going to be.

“I thought everything was going to be huge, and everyone was going to be driving big pickup trucks,” Bandholz said. “A lot of people told me Americans were really nice, too. But when I told my friends I was going to Nebraska they said, ‘You’re going to be with rednecks the entire time,’” Bandholz said. His biggest surprise, was that not every American was obese.

Of all the things Bandholz misses, he said he misses the ocean the most. “I lived about ten minutes from the beach, so when I got home from school, I’d grab my bike and ride down and hang out with friends,” he said.

Bandholz is also a part of Lincoln High Schools Show Choir, Momentum. “I’m in the [IB] German class, and some of the kids in there convinced me to join, and I’ve loved it ever since,” Bandholz said. “It’s really fun. I didn’t have the chance to do something like this back home, so I thought I might as well take the chance to do it now.”

Bandholz will be in Nebraska until June and will be going on a family trip to San Francisco in the summer. He will miss a lot of things, he said.

“But what I’m going to miss the most when I go back [home], is the people here and the school itself. It’s fun to be in school sometimes.”