Sixteen-year-old Jana Schneider is the youngest child of Vitali and Maria Schneider. The Heringen (Werra) Germany native has two grown siblings, Olessija Boldt and Matim Schneider.
Heringen is a small suburb community in the Hersfeld-Rotenburg district of eastern Hesse, Germany. The small community of nearly 3,500 is in close proximity is the Wintershall potash mine, which today is the world’s largest potash-mining area.
Schneider arrived in Rushville in early September to begin a year of studies at Rushville Consolidated High School as a foreign exchange student. Although from Germany, the teenager said that in her native land, many of the customs and foods are of Russian origin.
Schneider said she misses some of the aspect of living in a larger community, but has quickly adapted to rural Indiana life. The teenager had one unique aspect to beginning her year abroad she was chosen for the foreign exchange program and arrived in Rushville without a host family. That was quickly remedied and until the conclusion of the school year, she is residing with the Dan and Marcy Westphall family and their three children.
Schneider has traveled extensively in her young age. She has joined her family on numerous excursions outside Germany including Rome, Italy; Switzerland; Greece; London, England; Australia; Dubai; and China to name a few.
Schneider has also graduated what would be comparable to our high school and when she returns to her home land will enter what is called Fach Abitur, a one to two year school preparation program required prior to entering college. Jana hopes to return to America to go to college and has considered entering the medical field and becoming a doctor working in a cardiac unit or seeking a business degree and hopefully running a major corporation in the future.
Schneider is fluent in the English language and has been studying English since first grade. As a result, her transition to her stay in America has been easier when it comes to communication than many of the other foreign students walking the halls of RCHS.
While discussing school in Germany, Schneider said the classes are much harder in her home land. For example, students have no choice in their classes; the school system picks all classes for students. For another difference in the educational system, Schneider said she began taking chemistry in third grade a class that continued until she finished school. Since she has graduated school in Germany, Schneider is not allowed to participate in school sports. While at RCHS, she has joined the International Club and FFA.
Prior to returning to Germany, Schneider’s family will join her and watch her graduation in June before vacationing. It is Jana’s hope they will make it to Southern California in hopes of seeing Hollywood.