Germany to the States: Patrick Eisentraut’s Story



Patrick playing hard and proud for his new high school

Foreign exchange students are becoming more and more common so it’s important to make an effort to reach out and make these students feel welcomed. According to the Migration Policy Institute “there were just 26,000 foreign students enrolled in school year 1949–50, the number roughly doubled every decade, reaching 286,000 in 1979–80. It continued growing in the mid-2000s and 2010s, hitting a record high of 1.1 million in 2016–17.”

Brentwood has had more foreign exchange students this year than in recent history. One of our newest foreign exchange students, Patrick Eisentraut, came to the U.S. from Germany. The thing that made Patrick and his family decide to come to the States was because his father was an exchange student, too, when he was younger. 

Patrick actually lived for one year in New York as a baby, so he wanted to experience the country again. When Patrick first heard that he was moving to the U.S. he was nervous but also very excited and happy, as well as sad at the time.

When he first arrived in America, he had a lot of difficulties with the culture that he didn’t understand. But as time passed and he got more settled in, things got better. English was a very hard language for Patrick to learn and adapt to because when he began to learn it in school, he was one of the worst in his class. Now this year he has high hopes that it’s going to be easier.

Chaim Duffe-Holmes
Patrick snapping a hoco pic with friend and junior, Jeremy Forman. (Photo-bombed by junior, Miles Casey)

One of the main differences Patrick has noticed between Germany and the United States is the schooling because, in Germany, they don’t have the same school spirit that we do. They don’t have clubs inside of school since all the activities are only hosted outside of it.

Patrick’s favorite part of Brentwood is the frozen yogurt shop since they don’t have any frozen yogurt in Germany! In high school, his favorite parts are the sports, homecoming, prom, and test retakes. A few interesting things about Patrick are that he believes it’s fun to discover new countries and ways to live as well as understanding people and their cultures better. Patrick is excited to be here at Brentwood and Brentwood High School couldn’t be happier to have him with us.