Three Woodstock High School students will depart in August to begin yearlong studies in Germany.
Isobela Solberg and Cameron Brand, 2017 graduates, and Fiona Child, who just completed her junior year, are part of the program.
WHS German teacher Jack Walsdorf has encouraged his students to take advantage of overseas opportunities.
“The Congress-Bundestag Scholarship program is supported by the American and German governments to promote greater understanding between the two countries,” he said. “We have been fortunate enough to have had a dozen students participate in this program over the last 10 years.”
Solberg will begin her stay in Bonn, where she will attend school for two months to continue her German language studies. Afterwards, she will be placed in the village of Kappel-Grafenhausen to attend classes and begin internships in vocational experiences. When she returns, she plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“I am definitely going to let this year abroad open my eyes to new things, so when I get back, I can feel more confident about what my four-year plan will be,” Solberg said. “The skills that I will learn and the things I will find out about myself will continue to benefit me beyond school and a career.”
Brand has not yet been informed of his new location, but he will live with a host family and attend a German gymnasium (high school) for the year. His program does not include a vocational aspect. Upon his return, he plans to attend a Midwestern university to major in English and German.
“I want to eventually become a high school teacher,” he said.“A year of exchange fosters personal growth. Living in a different culture with a different language opens up an individual’s world view. This gives me the opportunity to become fluent in German.”
Child will complete her senior year of high school at a German gymnasium during this exchange year. She has not yet received her host family or city information. She credits Walsdorf with inspiring her to become an exchange student since her freshman year.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I am so fortunate to be doing at such a young age,” she said. “I am thinking of a career in art history, so being in the heart of Europe is a great way for me to explore the art and architecture there. I think studying in Germany will prompt me to apply to European universities.”
“While in Germany, these students will acquire a multitude of interpersonal skills. They will learn independence and how to advocate for themselves,” Walsdorf said. “I’m blessed to have such wonderful young people in my program.”