Photo courtesy Levi Rustand
DEUTSCHLAND—Senior Levi Rustand will spend his year following graduation in Germany.

Senior gets opportunity to see Europe
Levi Rustand will live, work in Germany beginning this summer

By Seth Benson

Some seniors dream of spending some time in Europe following graduation.

Senior Levi Rustand will not only get that chance, but will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to immerse himself in German culture.

Rustand will forgo most of his senior year summer and the next year as he participates in a German exchange program.
On June 26, Rustand will depart for Germany to take part in the Congress-Bundestag Vocational Exchange Program for a whole year. 

This is a full scholarship program designed to strengthen ties between successor generations of each country. The program provides an opportunity for the exchange students—the future leaders of both countries—to expand their perspectives and awareness of each other’s culture, society, history and politics.

Rustand was first introduced to the idea by German teacher Britt Samson. 

“There was a lengthy application and interview process,” Rustand said. “I appreciate Mr. (teacher Fred) Reiner and Frau Samson for their huge encouragement and support. This scholarship is given to me by the German Parliament and U.S. Congress. They will pay for things such as international airfare and hotels. However, while I’m living there much of my housing and food costs will be covered by the generosity of host families.”

Rustand will need to become fluent in German.

“I’m currently taking my fourth year of German at WHS,” he said. “Outside of school, I’ve also been using Rosetta Stone. Upon arrival in Germany, I will receive an additional two months of language training with the other 24 students in this program. My primary responsibility is to be an active part of my community and an ambassador, representing the American people. I will be going to school for a couple months in Bonn, but a majority of my time will be spent in three different internships. Each of these internships is in a different field of my interest and lasts three months. I will also have a lot of free time for traveling on my own.” 

Rustand is looking forward to many different opportunities. 

“I look forward most to being able to see the world and step outside of my comfort zone,” he said. “I am also very excited to become more fluent in German and I hope to have the adventure of going on a less traveled path.”

Rustand plans to attend South Dakota State University upon his return to the U.S.


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