BHS exchange student shares Christmas traditions
Julian Andriesen is a foreign exchange student from Germany. He celebrated his 17th birthday on Sunday, Dec. 23.
He hales from Wuppertal in the western part of Germany. He has one sister, Celina, who is 15. His parents are Andre and Elke.
The Advent season begins on Dec. 1.
"In our family, my mom makes our Advent calendar," Julian said. "Since there are four in my family, we each make six small presents for the calendar so we have a small present for each day of the Advent season.
"There are also four candles for Advent," he said. "One candle is lit each week during the Advent season. (The fifth candle is lit on Christmas eve.)
On Dec. 6, children in Germany put their shoes out by their front door for Nikolaas to fill.
Christmas, itself, is a three-day celebration. On Dec. 24, families open gifts. Dec. 25 and 26 is time when you visit with family and friends.
Presents are delivered by "Kristkind," the Christ Angel, not Santa Claus, he said.
Julian started learning English when he was in the third grade.
"Every student learns English and German," he said. "It's most important.
Julian said what he likes about being an exchange student is seeing another culture, meeting new friends and learning what it's like to live in a different country.
"It's really fun [at Blackfoot High School]," Julian said. "Everyone knows everyone.
"There are so many different events," he said. "That's a good thing and I like it.
Julian likes sports, especially soccer, which is called Fußball in Germany. He's a midfielder and has been playing soccer since he was 3-years-old.
"My favorite team is the Bayern München," he said. "This is the team my dad and I follow. We pay [extra] every month to see [live action] on television."
In Blackfoot, the family of Dr. F. Bryce and Amy Moser are his host family. Besides his host parents, his American siblings include Elise, age 19, Nathan, 15, Brad, 13, Amanda 11, and Jesse, 6.
"Julian is thinking of taking up baseball this spring because it's such an American sport," said his host mom, Amy Moser.
After Moser was married, her parents hosted three exchange students during three different years. "We've talked about hosting an exchange student but it was really [our son] Nathan who kept persisting," she said. "He would not let it rest.
"After we met Julian, I said he could come live with us partly because of the positive experience my parents had with exchange students," said Moser.