Simon Grundmann knows all about small-town life.
In fact, he may be able to teach Redwood Falls residents a thing or two, as he hails from the town of Sickingen, Germany.
"There are about 800 people there," he said.
So, when Grundmann came to Redwood Falls about a month ago he came to a bigger community, but, he added, it still has that small town atmosphere.
"This is a nice town," he said. "It's not too noisy. There is a nice park here. I like the school and the people I have met."
Grundmann, who is 15, is staying with the Troy and Andrea Amunrud family and is getting acclimated to life in Minnesota.
He is also getting used to speaking English a lot more.
"I wanted to visit America, because I thought it would be a good way to improve my English," he said. "I also wanted to know about a new way of life."
Living in a small town, Grundmann actually travels by bus and train to get to school in a bigger city.
"It takes me about 15 minutes to get to school there," he said.
Where he lives in Redwood Falls is quite a bit closer than that.
As a sophomore at RVHS, Grundmann's class schedule includes courses, such as honors chemistry, Alge-bra 2, strength and conditioning and speech.
Grundmann said he thinks the classes he is taking at RVHS are comparable to what he is doing back home, although he said he is going to know how well he is understanding the content of the classes when he starts taking tests.
Grundmann said he is seeing more homework than he would have back in Germany, and he said the challenge he is finding now is making time to do it.
The reason for that is his involvement with the cross country team.
Although he has been involved in track back home, Grundmann said cross country is a new sport to him. He said he is enjoying being involved in it.
The son of Martin, a commerce merchant, and Elke, a tax consultant, has two years of school left when he returns to Germany at the end of this school year.
Then, he said, he thinks he is going to attend a university. However, he is not yet sure what he wants to study when he does go.
During his time at RVHS, Grundmann also plans to be involved in activities including basketball and track.
When his time in Minnesota comes to an end, Grundmann is going to be joined in the U.S. by his parents, and then the Grund-manns are going to spendsome time just seeing the sites across the country.
Page 2 of 2 - Grundmann said both of his parents have spent time in the U.S., and they have friends in New York they are going to visit when they come over.
Grundmann's mother actually was part of an exchange program of sorts having spent a semester in the U.S. when she was in college. While Grundmann said it was his choice to come to the U.S., his parents did encourage him to do the exchange program.
All in all, Grundmann said his experience in Redwood Falls has been going very well so far, and he is looking forward to meeting new people and seeing new things, including the Mall of America.