McGinnis said it was weird to see the German students “buy a beer, drink it and then go back to school.”
An Arabians soccer player, he also got a taste for their futsal and was “really excited to play with the Germans, to play their sport.”
While they loved the shopping and food – Ryan was the most adventurous, trying just about anything, though he said he ate a lot of Steak ‘n Shake when he got home — they were in awe of the structures there.
A self-proclaimed history buff, McGinnis enjoyed Ludwig’s castle, buildings damaged by World War II and the churches.
“I didn’t have anything to say when I walked in,” he said. “It was breathtaking.”
Spurgeon’s host family not only took her around on everyday tasks but showed her structures like the cathedrals she liked.
Then the students encountered traditions they hadn’t heard of, such as a groom-to-be collecting money for his bachelor party by dressing as a woman and having people pay to wax off his leg hair, Reske said.
By the end of their two-week visit, they came back to Indiana with a better understanding of the German culture and language – Horine learned that the word “pickle” actually means “pimple” in German as she was eating one and proclaiming her love for it. But they also acquired new friends and a better appreciation for their own lives, they said.
“What made the biggest impact was just how they (the Germans) live life every day,” McGinnis said. “Even though they may not have the fancy things we take for granted every day, they make it by and were happy. They made me really appreciate what I have here in the U.S.”
Claxon said she saw a huge jump in their confidence and was gratified that her students said “they understood so much more.”
That was the whole point.
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