Exchange student shares Christmas traditions
Sven Poensgen, a foreign exchange student from Germany, loves the color green
“Almost everyone at Blackfoot High School knew him the first week he was here because he always wears green jeans,” said his host mom, Marcy Curr. “It’s a good thing he attends a high school whose color is green."
Curr is the debate coach at BHS.
Sven's hometown is Ratingen-Lintor, Germany, which is northeast of Duesseldorf in western Germany.
His mother and stepfather are Birgit and Knut. His father and stepmother are Dirk and Elena. His grandmother is Helga and his aunt is Kerstin.
“That’s my whole family,” he said.
In Germany, the Advent season is followed throughout the month of December. Advent encompasses the four Sundays before Christmas.
The Christ child is not put into the manger until Christmas arrives because “He wasn’t born until Christmas,” Sven said. The figures of the kings start away from the manger and are moved closer and closer each day until they arrive on Christmas day.
Presents are opened on Christmas Eve; Christmas day is a time for family.
Sven loves drama and debate. This semester he is taking three drama classes and one debate class.
He hasn’t placed in dramatic interpretation yet, however, as Curr pointed out, “he’s competing in another language.”
Sven’s passion is performing arts and acting.
“He aced his make-up exam final,” Curr said. In the final, Sven unzipped his face.
He had glued a zipper on his face. He combined a skeleton eye on a vampire face.
“I love just about anything to do with theater—costumes, makeup—although, I like being in front of the curtain best,” Sven said.
If he doesn’t go into acting, he would like to become a chef. His family has a restaurant and breweries in Germany.
For outdoor sports, Sven likes to snowboard, ski, long board, skateboard and skate.
Sven hopes to get his driver’s license before he returns to Germany. In Germany, a person must be at least 18 years old to get a driver’s license.
“It’s really expensive,” said Sven, although, the fee for driver’s license is paid only once in the driver’s lifetime.
“Sven fits in our family in every way,” said Curr.
To host a foreign exchange student or for more information about the exchange program, contact Tammy Harmon, Regional Director of the American Intercultural Student Exchange. She can be reached by telephone at (307) 885-0887 or a firstname.lastname@example.org.