International Students Living in the Stateline

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- For some of us... Going to high school was a trying time.. but imagine doing so in another country. Some kids are learning more outside of the classroom through an international program.

"I didn't know how to use lockers, because we don't really have lockers in Germany."

Meet Moritz Schnellen, a 16-year-old from Germany, who says adjusting to life in the U.S. wasn't easy.

"I was really confused, I mean our school is pretty small but I was so lost," says Moritz.

For the last eight months, he's called Byron his home, living with a "host family" and attending Stillman Valley High School. That's where he's *learning in and outside of the classroom, like playing basketball and running track for the first time.

"German school is really boring. German schools are really focused on academics, instead of having a social life integrated in school, " says Moritz.

Moritz is one of about a dozen kids in the International Experience program, where local students and those across the country study abroad for 10 months.

"it's pretty cool."

And these students aren't just trying american sports...

"favorite american food so far?" "mac and cheese, we don't have mac and cheese in germany." "taco from taco bell."

Elisabeth Kriep says she's gained more than a love for american food.

"You get a family here and that's a nice thing to find somebody so far away just randomly and you get a part of a family," says Kriep.

"It's like having another child, they move into your heart," says Tammy Pierson, a host mom.

Moritz says he hopes to eventually make the U.S. his permanent home.

There are 12 host families involved in the International Experience program throughout Rockford area


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