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Andre shares thoughts on school, food and girls

By Staff | Oct 16, 2009

Luca Andre

When Luca Andre was looking up Iowa on his computer in his hometown of Hesse in southern Germany, the first thing he saw was corn.

California had been his first choice for his student exchange experience, but those slots were filled. It didn’t take long to find out enough about Iowa, though, to figure out that he would like it.

Now he likes it a lot.

Andre and his host family, Dr. Rick and Leane Erbes, have been learning about and enjoying each other thoroughly since his arrival late this summer. He and Leane talked about his experiences in the U.S. so far at Thursday’s Estherville Rotary meeting.

One of Andre’s first adjustments was measurements. While Europe is on the celsius scale, the U.S. is Fahrenheit. So when he found out what the temperature was in Iowa, he understood what Fahrenheit really meant.

A very pleasant surprise was the variety in local supermarkets. Andre said in Germany there were only three cereals – in the U.S. there’s a whole aisle.

Andre quickly found out one of the best things about Iowa when he had his first corn dog at the Iowa State Fair. It wasn’t long after that when he had the chance to try a turkey leg at the Renaissance Fair in the Twin Cities.

There have been a number of adjustments coming to the U.S., of course. Andre said one was the longer school day. In Germany, students have studies straight through until 1 p.m. He said there are more tests and quizzes in U.S. schools too.

There were a number of questions by Rotarians of course. Following are some of Andre’s answers.

n Winter for Andre could take some getting used to. It only gets down to 27 above in his hometown.

n The minimum age for drinking beer is 16.

n “You have really nice girls.”

n Chicken, corn dogs, popcorn and steak are among his favorite American foods.

“I just have to say I’m really happy I didn’t go to California,” he said.