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Adventurous Bӧs enjoying America as Crailsheim exchange student

“The food here is really good, but it is really different. I miss my schnitzel.”

Anica Bӧs
Anica Bӧs is the new exchange student from Crailsheim, Germany, attending classes at Worthington High School this year.
Julie Buntjer / The Globe
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WORTHINGTON — During her first full month in Worthington, Crailsheim exchange student Anica Bӧs visited the Wisconsin Dells with her host family, went kneeboarding on Lake Okabena, learned to drive a jet-ski, began her sophomore year of high school and joined the Worthington High School tennis team.

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The whirlwind of activity has helped the 15-year-old adapt and fully immerse herself in the English language and American culture.

Bӧs arrived in Worthington on Aug. 10 for a year-long stay through the student exchange program between Worthington and its sister city of Crailsheim, Germany. Her current hosts are the Rick and Lyn Hennings family of Brewster. Mariah Hennings was Worthington’s exchange student to Crailsheim in 2019-2020. The exchange was halted for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and restarted this year.

While Mariah Hennings is now off at college at the University of Minnesota-Rochester, Bӧs has a 14-year-old host brother in Hayden Hennings. The family also includes older son, Kaleb, who no longer lives at home. Mariah comes home when she can on the weekends.

Before school began, Mariah helped Bӧs get acclimated to her classrooms, taking her on a tour of the high school to show her where all of her classes would be.

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“I was a little bit scared about the classrooms,” she admitted. “It is really big. Our school in Crailsheim is not as big. But, it’s really good and I’ve made new friends.”

Her courses this quarter include food and nutrition, algebra, film study and U.S. history — “That’s really hard,” she said of the latter. She is also in choir and loves to sing. In fact, she has had a singing coach in Germany for the past several years.

While her age dictated her sophomore-level grade at WHS, Bӧs will get to take part in the traditional “senior year” activities like prom and graduation. Her parents, Britta Bӧs and Tobias Bӧs, are tentatively planning to attend the graduation ceremony, and her older brother, Luke, older sister, Alecea, and Alecea’s boyfriend may come to visit around Easter.

She will be excited for them to experience some of what she’s been able to see and do during her first visit to America.

“It is amazing,” she said. “I’ve met a lot of people and they’re all really kind.

“The food here is really good, but it is really different,” she added. “I miss my schnitzel.”

So far, she’s discovered baked potatoes with toppings to be one of her favorite American foods.

Bӧs applied to be the exchange student because her entire family is adventurous and she wanted to have new experiences.

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“I have this chance in my life and it was a really good chance,” she said. “I like America. It is an amazing country.”

Her selection, though, didn’t come without a bit of trepidation.

“I think at first, Mom was really scared and shocked,” she said. “They are really proud of me — my whole family.”

Those first few days away from home were really hard, and emotional, because of the long distance away from home, but Bӧs said after getting to know her host family and make new friends, she no longer feels so homesick.

While Bӧs hasn’t given much thought about what she’d like to see and experience during her year in southwest Minnesota, she would like to see Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. And, she may have an opportunity to visit past exchange student Chloe Bents in Chicago — perhaps for a long weekend or school break.

For now, Bӧs is just keeping up with her schedule. Between tennis practice and meets, she hasn’t had a lot of time to think about other things, though she is contemplating basketball or dance for her next extra-curricular.

“I still have time to think about it,” she said. “It’s all new — I’ve never played basketball or dance before, really. I’ll see what I want to do.”

After her year in Worthington, Bӧs will return home to Onolzheim, a short five-minute drive from Crailsheim. There, she will return for one more year of high school. She hopes to one day become a nurse for children.

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Julie Buntjer became editor of The Globe in July 2021, after working as a beat reporter at the Worthington newspaper since December 2003. She has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism from South Dakota State University.
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