Exchange Student Tom Lipp Enjoys American Experience


Tom Lipp

Lipp smiles with his host family at a football game.

Junior foreign exchange student Tom Lipp is enjoying his time in America by taking advantage of all the opportunities he is presented.
“I chose to become an exchange student because my mom was an exchange student when she was younger. She always said it was the best year of her life and wanted me to do it too,” Lipp said. “I can definitely say that this is the best year of my life right now.”
During his ten months in the United States, Tom stays with his host family, the Watsons, who live in Wyandotte.
“I like my host family a lot, we hang out and do lots of fun stuff together,” Lipp said.
Lipp enjoys many things about school in America because of the differences it has compared to school in Germany.
“My favorite thing about school in America is the sports and the school spirit. Everyone does stuff together and participates,” Lipp said.
While he did not have much say in choosing his schedule, Lipp has come to enjoy some of the classes he has been taking.
“My favorite class is American Culture and Baseball with Mr. Ballelli. We do a lot of fun stuff like talk about baseball and watch movies,” Lipp said.
Lipp’s teachers enjoy having him in class and have gotten to see him change as a student during his short time in the United States.
“At first I didn’t know he was an exchange student until a student brought it up to me,” history teacher Scott Ballelli said. “It just seemed like he was a funny, good kid that everyone enjoyed.”
Ballelli has seen Lipp become more comfortable in class and has enjoyed listening to his opinions on topics discussed in class.
“I like hearing his opinion on things, like how different things are taught in Germany compared to here in the U.S. or his opinion about different cultures,” Ballelli said.
During his time in America, Lipp has made many new friends, one of them being fellow junior Jack Vaduva.
“One of my best friends is Jack. I met him during tennis season, and we are still very good friends,” Lipp said. “We are also doing swimming together right now.”
Many of Lipp’s friends enjoy doing normal things that Lipp is not used to doing back home.
“I love taking Tom around and showing him new things. Especially the things that may seem ordinary to us but he is experiencing for the first time,” Vaduva said.
One of Lipp’s favorite things to do with friends is drive places because it is something he can not do with friends back home.
“In Germany the driving age is 18, so we can’t really go anywhere. We usually just go by the lake or go swimming,” Lipp said. “Here we have a lot more freedom because we can drive places and go do things.”
Though Lipp enjoys being in America he does miss things about home, specifically the people he is closest with.
“Right now, I miss my family and my friends a lot. they are the people who are always there for me and help me through everything,” Lipp said.
Before he even arrived in the United States, Lipp had many ideas of things he wanted to experience.
“Coming to America, I was really looking forward to going to football games on Friday nights,” Lipp said. “The most memorable part about being here will definitely be the fall. Tennis season, football games, I have so many memories from that time.”
Though Lipp has many memorable moments from the fall season, one stands out to him most when he thinks back.
“One of my favorite moments was when we won regionals for tennis,” Lipp said. “It is something I will remember forever; being a tennis regional champion here in America.”
Lipp has had many enjoyable experiences while in America and hopes he can come back in the future.
“I’ve already thought about coming back to America after I leave. I tried even to see about coming back for senior year but it doesn’t work like that,” Lipp said. “I would love to come back for college.”
While Lipp plans on staying in contact with everyone he has met in his time in America, his focus right now is enjoying the rest of his time here.
“I can’t wait to have more fun and just enjoy the rest of the time I have in America,” Lipp said.