The halls of Bremond ISD echoed voices of nervous energy as students stepped back into classrooms, but imagine waking into school in a different country. Monday morning, two foreign exchange students took their first steps into an American high school.
With a balanced breakfast, one 17-year-old is ready to hit the books. But unlike other students, his first day of school at Bremond High School is something he's worked hard to achieve. Jacob Schermuly is a German foreign exchange student. He received a special scholarship to be able to study in the U.S. for a full academic year. He just arrived Sunday night and already sees cultural differences.
"You can find everything here," Schermuly said. "In Germany, we are one culture so you can only find the Germans. America is also bigger, so there is a big mix of many cultures."
He's already made friends through his host family, something the teen said he is grateful to have on his big day. He and another foreign exchange student each have a classmate help them adjust to the changes.
"Welcome to America, and welcome to Texas, Jacob," said Bremond High Senior, Matthew Johnson. Johnson is helping Schermuly find his way around campus.
"I think it's a great experience for him," Johnson said. "Not very many out of country people get to experience this thing."
Mariya Melnikova is another foreign exchange student studying at Bremond. She said it is comforting to have Schermuly there because they can help each other adjust.
"I need time to adapt but I think everything will be OK," Melnikova said.
The foreign exchange students both said that they hope to learn not only their basic classes, but also experience the true American dream. "In Germany you go to school, you learn you go home, but here I think it is fun to be here at school," Schermuly said.
One day down and 9 more months to go. The teens are eager to learn everything they can about American life.
"At this moment, I am sure this is going to be a great year," Schermuly said.