First time away from home for German student visiting Niagara



Staff Writer

NIAGARA, Wis. – Lucas Mierke is one of six German students and nine total, who are exchange students at Niagara High School this year.

The 17-year-old is staying with host family Merv and Peggy Neuens and their four children, daughters, Whitlee, 20, and Hope, 15; and sons, Nevada 12, and Montana, 18.

He comes from Delmenhorst, a city of about 74,500 people located in the northwestern part of Germany, about six miles from the Bremen-Oldenburg urban area.

In Germany, Lucus lives with his father Thomas Schulte, an insurance agent and mother, Sandra Mierke, a hairdresser, and his 12-year-old sister, Shalina Mierke.

The family also has two horses, a dog, two cats and a parrot.

He decided to become an exchange student because “I wanted to see more of the world and to learn English more,” he said. “This is my first time away from my parents.”

He was traveled to many countries in Europe including Turkey, Greece, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands and Denmark. In America, he traveled with his host family to Wisconsin Dells and to the Mall of America in Minneapolis.

Before he returns to Germany in June, he will travel to Miami for 10 days.

Lucas said he has enjoyed all his experiences in America and thinks all the food is pretty good. Although he said he is not a picky eater.

Lucas enjoys fishing, biking and one new experience he had here was hunting. He shot a deer during deer season, but they were unable to find it. Although he has not participated in other school sports, he may play golf this spring.

At Niagara he takes classes in Metals 1, Woods 2, English 2, Earth Science, Art and U.S. history.

In Germany, Lucus attends IGS Delmenhorst school, which has about 800 students.

He said students in Germany are placed in classes based on their intelligence level. Students with higher scores are placed with like students, and students with average scores are with average students, etc. They stay together for all their classes.

In Germany he studied English, German, math, history, music, art and the sciences.

He would like to study to be a veterinarian went he completes high school.

Marguerite Lanthier’s e-mail address is