Tate Jenkins: Across the globe and back again

Ashlyn Thomas

Tate Jenkins: Across the globe and back again


By Ashlyn Thomas


Tate Jenkins (12) is a student here at Skyline High School. Jenkins was recently accepted into the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program. Jenkins started his program in late August of 2019. Jenkins was supposed to stay in Germany for 10 months but had to leave early due to personal reasons. While Jenkins was in Germany, he learned how to speak the German language somewhat to his ability, he traveled all around Germany meeting new people and learning about their culture. We talked to Jenkins and asked him about his stay and his experiences. 

Jenkins shared with us how he learned about this program online. He wasn’t purposefully looking for it, he just happened to come across the program while looking at scholarships. Jenkins said that to apply for this scholarship that there are two stages such as the application and the interview for any future applicants. The scholarship paid for nearly everything. “Anything to do with the program, like the airplane, all that was covered for me. The only thing I had to pay for was stuff that I wanted to buy in Germany, such as clothes,” Jenkins said. 

In the first month of Jenkin’s stay in Germany they do a month-long language camp. “We used that to help get started with our German, and from there we learned in our communities.” Jenkins said that learning German at first was hard, but the longer he was there, the quicker he gathered more and more about the language.

Jenkins strongly said that he loved their culture in Germany and “meeting cool new people and making friendships with forgien new people.” Jenkins said their food culture there was very different compared to ours here, but his favorite food he tried there was called “dunna. It’s like shredded meat and then you can add different sauces and toppings to it.” He said the worst food he had to try was “raw horse meat. It was awful!” Jenkins was very inspired but mostly by “the cultural insight of learning about a new culture and actually being able to experience it.” Jenkins said that he did feel somewhat out of place while he was in Germany but the longer he was there, he felt more accepted and comfortable. 

Jenkins shared that he wasn’t scared to travel without his family or go out on his own because he travels a lot, but he saw that it was definitely difficult for others and that if you do go on a scholarship like this that you definitely need to prepare yourself. Jenkins said what scared him the most was “being on a completely different land and not knowing anybody, and just not knowing the culture and the people.”

Jenkins shared that he met a lot of amazing and cultured people there. He made friendships and to this day, still stays in contact with many of the people he met. Jenkins said this has absolutely been one of the best trips he has been on. He definitely recommends this program to anyone who is interested or inspired.