Ethan Thomas

Boehme said she will miss wearing sweatpants to school since students don’t wear casual clothes in German schools.

Meet Elena Boehme from Germany

Get to know Elena Boehme, an exchange student from Germany as she discusses her experience in the U.S.

Welcome to “Walk in their shoes”, a column where we showcase our foreign exchange students and their homes throughout the year.

Elena Boehme (‘25) is a foreign exchange student at MHS from Germany. 

Boehme has enjoyed Colorado, even though the challenges that came with being a foreign exchange student proved to be trying. She mentioned the hardest part of being a foreign exchange student was homesickness and getting used to living with a host family. Boehme said, “Sometimes you just want a hug from your real dad and the friends that you’ve known for years.”

Boehme joined the tennis team during the spring. She said it was a great experience since in Germany they don’t have extracurricular activities in school. During Boehme’s time at Mead High she has also enjoyed her creative writing class.

Even though her stay in Colorado has been great and filled with adventures, she said she misses public transportation a lot. “I grew up in a city [with public transportation] I miss going everywhere with a bicycle or a bus, not depending on rides,” she commented.

Boehme said Colorado has been a beautiful state to spend her time in the U.S. in, but if she had the choice to pick a different state, she said she would’ve enjoyed Hawaii. 

Boehme is part of a horse riding program that allowed her to stay with a host family who owns three horses. That way she can keep her hobby from home. This made her stay in Colorado feel more “normal” for her.

Boehme said one of the biggest challenges was communicating in a language she is not used to. She said learning English at a young age was very helpful. “I’ve been studying English for 5 years now, but we don’t really speak it in Germany, so when I came here it was really difficult to actually speak.” 

The school programs are very different in America compared to Germany. Boehme explained that in Germany, schools don’t offer students a sports program or an A and B daily schedule, which made the transition a little more challenging to get used to. In contrast to America, German students are expected to attend a full day of twelve classes every school day. 

Boehme believes schools in Germany offer more academic opportunities for students, but in the U.S. “being a teenager is so much more fun since you don’t have a lot of pressure”, like you do in Germany.

Boehme plans to continue her education beyond high school. She said she would like to study law. Boehme plans on taking a gap year — her and her dad have planned a road trip from Canada to Mexico before college.

Boehme said she would like to have told herself before coming to the U.S. that it would be “a mental challenge. At the beginning you’re alone, you don’t know anybody, your host family are basically strangers and you have to face a lot of challenges.” She adds that in the end, however, it’s worth it.

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