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Going to an out-of-state college is difficult at first for most students, but imagine going to college in another country where a different language is spoken. The language barrier is hard enough, but the cultural barrier can be an even bigger challenge.
Sophomore Franziska Jendrian of the CU woman’s tennis team comes all the way from Rodalben, Germany. She speaks English well – and she plays tennis even better.
Jendrian was recruited by head coach Nicole Kenneally, who contacted her through another coach. Kenneally asked Jendrian to send a video of her tennis matches, and this is how Jendrian ended up at CU.
In Germany, Jendrian played tennis at a school where students had to play a sport to attend.
“I went to a high school where you were only allowed to be there if you played a sport, so you go there from, like, fifth grade until the 13th grade,” Jendrian said.
She said the biggest adjustment for her coming to the United States is the language difference, but she speaks English well because she started learning it when she was 11 years old.
“In the beginning of last year, it was really tough for me because it was my first year. Now, it’s not that hard anymore listening in class and everything,” Jendrian said. “Whenever I don’t understand anything, I just go to my tutors, which is awesome.”
Although she started learning the grammar and syntax of the English language when she was 11 years old, she didn’t really practice speaking English until she was 18. Writing and reading books in English while in Germany also helped her learn the language.
She is provided with tutors for some of her classes, which have helped in the transition to the United States.
Language is one thing. Cultural differences can be another obstacle for someone attending a college in another country. Jendrian has learned to adapt to the culture of the United States through sports.
“I watched the Super Bowl, and I was really looking forward to it,” Jendrian said.
She said she followed the CU football team and watched baseball’s World Series in October. She doesn’t quite understand all the rules of football yet, but she said she is getting there.
Jendrian said she would not be playing tennis for the Buffs if it wasn’t for her parents.
“They’ve just been very, very, very supporting,” she said. “I wouldn’t be here without them.”
She said her parents encouraged her to get a bilingual education. They support her and give her a caring heart whenever she needs it, Jendrian said. Her brother has also been supportive, even visiting her last August.
Jendrian manages to travel back home to Germany for Christmas and summer break, but she loves Colorado, which has made the time away from home easier.
“Since Colorado is really open and nice and really friendly, it’s not hard to adjust,” she said.
Jendrian is 10-4 overall with a career record of 27-18 in singles play. In doubles play this spring, Jendrian and Monica Milewski are 6-2, which is one of the better records among the pairs.
“I think we have a great year ahead of us, so we will see how that goes,” Jendrian said.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Kyle McDaniel at email@example.com.