The North Bend Eagle


Rehda samples life as a Tiger

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 4/11/18

Ben Rehda has been exposed to the American way of life since his early days by watching television and American sports. He thought he’d like to try it out.

Exchange studentBen Rehda is spending the school year at North Bend Central. When he returns to Germany, he will have two years of schooling left.

So the 17-year-old from Schwerin, Germany, applied to be an exchange student with STS Foundation, giving no preference as to where in the U.S. he wanted to go. Eventually he landed at North Bend Central, and he was just fine with the destination.

“I didn’t want to limit myself by what I already knew watching TV,” Rehda said. “That’s the impression of a big town. I didn’t even know where Nebraska was located before.”

Ben is living with Tom and Tonja Frank and their son Cameron, a junior at NBC, in the Cedar Bluffs area. Coming from a town of 100,000 in northeast Germany, he said the one thing that has not been an adjustment is the weather. Schwerin got 10 inches of snow on Easter.

Ben keeps in touch with his parents, Frank Richter and Sabine Rehda, brother Felix, 15, and sister, Lene, 9, with texts and occasional Skypes. The family has traveled all over Europe and his dad has been to Miami, Florida.

“Everyone says you get so independent coming here,” Rehda said, “but I feel I gave up a lot of independence just because I lived in a bigger town. I was used to getting around by myself using public transportation. Now I always need a ride to get somewhere.”


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