More than 1,100 students, parents flock to Kaiserslautern for College Night
October 16, 2009
- More than 1,100 parent and students from DoDDS and international schools across Europe visited Kaiserslautern's College Night
- About 100 colleges and universities were available to answer questions and provide information
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- As he weaved through crowds, Alex Tremble kept referring to his list. He was shopping for his 16-year-old daughter who was home sick.
"Just saw Penn State ... need Connecticut ... just saw them ... where was that' No not here," he thought out loud as he kept searching the rows of tables.
He was shopping for his daughter's future at the Kaiserslautern High School and U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern's College Night held Oct. 8 at the garrison's Special Events Center on Rhine Ordnance Barracks.
"My job as the dad is to come out here and pick up information from the schools she has whittled down to - she started out with about 50 schools," said Tremble, who is the Drug Demand Program manager for Ramstein Air Base. "She's been doing her homework over the last couple of years, and now, she is down to five schools."
A one-stop shopping for higher education bonanza, College Night offers all Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe high school students and their parents a chance to get first-hand knowledge about colleges and universities, scholarships and financial assistance.
Tremble was one of 1,132 people who attended this year's College Night. Also shopping for their futures were students, parents, guidance counselors and teachers from international and DoDDS schools throughout Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
"Alexis and I have been going to College Night here for about five years now - when she was still into middle school - she's a junior now," he said as he continued to search for the University of Connecticut.
He still couldn't find it, so he decided to double back and check one of the boards listing all the universities and colleges - more than 100 - represented at this year's event.
"It says Connecticut should be right here," as the words come of his mouth, Tremble turned and looked right into the eyes of Air Force Staff Sgt. Meredith Healy, stationed on Sembach Air Base and an alumnus of the University of Connecticut's graduate school.
Tremble asked Healy questions from a list provided by his daughter, making sure to hit each one.
"I really enjoy talking to students and their parents about their futures and what is available and just getting to know what they are looking for," said Healy, who added this was the second year she represented the University of Connecticut here.
Representatives at this year's College Night were a mixture of university staff from the U.S. and alumni living in Europe. There were also representatives from scholarship and financial assistance agencies and military recruiters.
While she answered the questions, Healy gaveTremble several information brochures about the university, its programs and enrollment procedures.
By this time, all the attendees were carrying college or scholarship information either in their hands and under their arms, or in bags provided by many of the representatives there.
Tremble passed by several scholarship tables. "We started her college fund when she was very little," he explained.
But, when he heared Sgt. 1st Class Craig Buchan, from the garrison's Directorate of Human Resources, call out, "Graduating seniors - need scholarship money," Tremble stops at the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated's table.
"We gave out $12,000 last year in scholarships," Buchan toldTremble, who then asked for more information for next year when Alexis will be a senior at Ramstein High School.
Most of the schools on Alexis' shopping list were represented at this year's College Night.
"I didn't come here expecting to see Florida State or Connecticut, but they were here," Tremble said. "That makes me feel good because it gives me an opportunity to sit down with my daughter and talk with her about college and how she is going to pick the one that's she going to, and make that decision as a family."
(Editor's Note: Christine June writes for the USAG Baden-Wuerttemberg newspaper, the Herald Post)