Sophomore returns to Germany


Sandra Techau and Emily Chanonhouse became close when they met at Fit Wit, a teen fitness program.

As the school year wraps up many students are going on summer vacation with their families, but sophomore Sandra Techau has to pack her bags and return home.

On Aug. 17 of last year, Techau came to Decatur on a study abroad program from Germany.

“I felt like I was going on an adventure, and I was really excited about it,” she said

When she got off the plane she not only saw the difference between Germany and the U.S, but she also felt it.

“The first thing I felt was it was really hot,” she said. “I arrived at two AM and I was really tired and all I felt was the heat.”

Besides the Georgia heat something else was shocking to her. “It was the first time I’ve seen so many black people,” she said.

According to, there are between 300,000 to 500,000 blacks currently living in Germany compared to over 42 million in the U.S.

“In my school there were only three black people and they were from the same family,” she said.

After a few days of living in America, Techau began her sophomore year at Decatur.

“On my first day I was lost and lonely, but that feeling was gone after a week,” she said.

Someone who became friends with Techau is junior Emily Chanonhouse.

“Ever since she helped me in German II we’ve been attached,” Chanonhouse said. “She has become part of my life, and I will never forget her.”

As the school year comes to an end, Techau has only a month left before returning to Germany.

“On one side I am happy to see my family again, but I am sad leaving my friends here,” she said. “I found all my good friends in the last few months, and I will really miss them.”

Though she will miss living in Decatur she hopes to come back soon.

“I want to come back for vacation, but I hope to travel a lot and see more places and cultures,” she said.

During her time in America she celebrated her seventeenth birthday, went to homecoming and prom, and created many memories with her friends. Many of those unforgettable experiences have taught her so much about Decatur.

“One thing I will always remember about Decatur is how open-hearted the community is because they are willing to accept anyone, including me,” Techau said.