German exchange student making the most of UNCP


Facing a lively class of 8th graders, Tim Rainbow, an international student at UNC Pembroke, was undaunted.

“That’s a very good answer,” he told an eager student. “Next time raise your hand.”

Tim RainbowRainbow, who is studying at Germany’s Ludwigsburg Pedagogical University to be a middle school teacher, delivered two lessons November 5 at the Communities in Schools (CIS) Academy in Pembroke.

He used the opportunity to hone his teaching skills. He has taken advantage of many opportunities during his semester at UNCP.

“You have to make friends,” he said smiling. “It’s hard to get out of Pembroke unless you have a friend with a car.”

Practicing with UNCP’s soccer team, living with U.S. students and attending Berea Baptist Church are pieces of his diplomatic arsenal.

“The college students did a Bible study class for the kids,” Rainbow said. “I had an opportunity to go to church camp too.”

At UNCP, Rainbow is taking courses in coaching and physical education, religion and physics. He is in Dr. Tim Ritter’s physics class.

“Tim is a very mature, strong, disciplined student,” Dr. Ritter said.

 “He seems to have a strong background in the preparatory math and science required for college physics,” he said. “In class, he consistently answers my questions correctly and appears to follow along with the material very well. 
“On a personal note, Tim is very friendly, polite, and outgoing when he comes to my office and in class,” Dr. Ritter continued. “I have never experienced any language barrier, and he has never indicated that he has not understood me or the textbook.”

If the students at the CIS Academy are any indication, Rainbow has a good future in the classroom. He delved into comparative statistics and graphs on population, geography and climate, and the students soaked it up.

For every answer, Rainbow offered positive feedback, such as “really, really good.

“We want to learn together, so speak up so others can hear you,” Rainbow said.

The lesson moved to language and sports around the world. Rainbow used some subtle role modeling as well when a student asked him about the language barrier.

“I was pretty good with the spoken word before I came to Pembroke, but I was not so good at the written language,” he said. “I’m getting better because I practice speaking a lot, and I am writing many papers in English.”

Rainbow, who is from a very small town in southern Germany, likes the academic environment at UNCP.

“I think this is a really good school,” he said. “There is a good physics program, and the professors are very friendly and helpful.

“The sports facilities are very good and so is the athletic training area,” Rainbow said. “The Livermore Library is open late for studying.”

Rainbow is one of four German students studying at UNCP this semester. The University has 119 international students enrolled for the 2008 fall semester.

He is a model of how to get the most out of international education, said Jessica Hall, associate director for International Programs at UNCP.

“Tim volunteers for everything and soaks everything up,” Hall said. “As an international student, you’ve got to put yourself out there to get the most of the experience, and he’s doing that.”

For more information about international programs at UNCP, please call 910.775.4095 or email