Austrian exchange student reflects over his time in Carlsbad


Jamie Morgan

Junior Kelly Young hosts Austrian exchange student Max Weingast. Weingast traveled here with 31 other students from his school, and he is here from Feb. 22 to Mar. 8.

On Feb. 22, 32 Austrian exchange students sauntered off a bus in Carlsbad High School’s parking lot after a long day of traveling. Each student had a host family with a sign welcoming them to the United States. Among the group was Austrian student Max Weingast, who is 17 years old.

Weingast’s host family is the Young’s, where he has two host sisters, juniors Kelly and Brooke Young. Both sisters have made it a priority for Weingast to make the most of his time here in the United States.

“We went to In N Out, it was very good, and we played mini golf at Boomers,” Weingast said. “Of course we went to the beach, and it was very beautiful.”

So far on his trip, Weingast has noticed many differences between the United States and Austria, including the weather and school setting. Currently in Austria, it is 30 degrees Fahrenheit, where here it is in the 50’s and 60’s. Also, Weingast’s school in Austria consists of 300 or 400 people, which differs greatly from Carlsbad’s 3000 students.

“I was a little bit nervous, but I’ve never been to the States before,” Weingast said. “It’s seeing how people live here and what they are doing and how they do things different than how we do in Austria, in the home country.”

Although he was nervous at first, his host sister Kelly has made him feel at home. Her family has been to Austria and loved it there, so they were ready to take on the responsibility of an Austrian exchange student.

“It’s not bad,” Kelly said. “I was kind of scared at first because it’s a new person in your house, but it’s actually pretty fun. We get along well, I would say.”

Both sisters are glad to have each other during this time because when one has a lot of homework or outside activities, Weingast will go with the other.

“Officially, on paper, Max and I are supposed to be together, but on days when I have stuff with school or I have to do homework or when I have a test in class and he’s super bored sitting there, he’ll go with Brooke,” Kelly said.

Not only has Kelly taken him to the go-tos in Carlsbad, but Weingast has also been to places he might not have in Austria, such as a common, local grocery store.

“I chose to come here because I think it’s a great opportunity to see how it’s like in another school and in another country.””

— Max Weingast

“Max went to Costco the other day with [my mom] and it was pretty fun,” Kelly said. “My dad’s not in town right now. He’s home back on Saturday, but my mom loves it.”

Kelly shared that her family had been hoping to host an Austrian since her freshman year. However, this year they finally decided that despite the lack of house space, they were just going to do it.

“I’m a pretty shy person so I thought maybe we were both going to be really quiet, and that we weren’t going to get along, but it’s been really fun,” Kelly said.

As Weingast’s time here comes to a close, he makes sure he has done everything he wanted to do before he returns to Austria. Weingast has made a great connection with his host family, and has cherished his short two weeks here in Carlsbad.

“I chose to come here because I think it’s a great opportunity to see how it’s like in another school and in another country,” Weingast said. “I would definitely recommend others to come here because it’s very beautiful here and they can have a great experience here.”