Nick Burton has wanted to revisit Germany ever since he traveled through the country three years ago with his dad.

Nick, formerly of Crossville, said he is surprised that the opportunity has come again so soon.

Nick, who is 16 and resides in Louisville, KY, is one of 250 recipients of the Congress-Bundestag Program scholarship from the Council on International Educational Exchange. He arrived in Frankfurt, Germany on Saturday, July 21.

“I’m thrilled for him. It’s a wonderful opportunity,” said Nick’s mother Beth Burton, who added that he was born in Germany while his father Tim Burton served in the military.

Nick will spend a month in Frankfurt at language school where he will immersed in lessons about the German language and culture.

“It still hasn’t fully sunk in,” said Nick, who traveled to Washington, D.C., last month to meet other American students in the program.

Every class will be taught in German, and Nick will be living with a German host family.

He’ll return in late June 2008.

“He’s like my right arm,” said Tim Burton. “It’s going to be tough” without him for almost an entire year.

Knowing Nick is so excited “makes it tolerable,” Beth Burton added.

The award included international airfare to and from Germany, the month-long language camp at a German boarding school, a mid-year meeting, meals and lodging with a host family, schooling and classes, medical insurance and an end of the year meeting in Berlin.

Personal expenses, phone calls, Internet use and transportation to Washington, D.C., from where students depart, were not included in the scholarship.

Students are judged on their answers to six essay questions, their letter to a host family and an in-person interview.

Knowing German is not a requirement for winning the scholarship, said Melvin Harmon, spokesman for the program.

Nick said he has all the common phrases memorized “enough to get by,” and he hopes to practice his German on his great-grandmother, who lives about three hours away from where Nick will live. He said he plans to make several visits to her home.

In Louisville, Nick lives with his dad and siblings Josie, 20 and Lilli, 5.

Nick said having family in Germany helped him feel a connection to the country.

“When I was younger I went to Germany, and … it felt like part of me — who I was,” he said. “I left with the words of General MacArthur, ‘I shall return.’ I just didn’t think it would be so quickly.”

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