This summer, the Brownlee family of North Oaks welcomed 17-year-old German student Julian Glaser to Shoreview. Glaser decided to spend his summer vacation here in Minnesota, his first visit to the U.S. Julian resides in Lorsch, the neighboring town to Shoreview’s sister city, Einhausen, which lies in the German state of Hessen approximately 62 miles northeast of Frankfurt.
The teen enjoyed everyday life in the area and was also able to participate in several adventures during his stay. His host siblings, Jett and Zoe Brownlee, introduced him to American life as a teenager. Julian even traveled with the Brownlee family through Chicago to bring their son, Jett, to college for the first time. “He’s a great kid,” host parent Heidi Brownlee said. “He’s very easygoing and polite, and he fit right in with our family.”
This trip was possible because of the friendship between the Brownlee family and Aurin family in Einhausen. Julian’s stepsister, Dani, visited the same family in July.
Members of the Shoreview-Einhausen Sister City Association (SESCA) also organized enjoyable outings with Julian: a tour of Allianz Field stadium, going to the movie theater, Minnesota Capitol and grounds sightseeing, the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and various food excursions (the teen discovered that American cheeseburgers were his favorite). Mounds View and Irondale German teacher Jill Hallenberger organized a food packing session at Feed My Starving Children where the group of five, along with other volunteers, packed more than 18,000 meals for children in Haiti.
Shoreview resident Jen Leach introduced Julian to her son, Jack, age 15, and the two hit it off immediately. “Julian and Jack share a love for the same style of music, so it was fun to let them turn up the volume and enjoy songs in both English and German.”
This year marks 20 years of SESCA, and fostering exchanges is a top priority for the partnership. The first exchanges occurred 34 years ago (in 1987) with Mounds View and Irondale High School students. The fostering of exchanges and subsequent long-lasting friendships began with former Mounds View German teacher Cheryl Wason, who continues to travel to Einhausen regularly. SESCA officially became a nonprofit organization in 2001.
Submitted by Jen Leach Shoreview resident and a member of the Shoreview-Einhausen Sister City Association