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Fulfilling Her Dreams: Nina Kauffmann

November 04, 2008

Though her future is based in her native Germany, Nina Kauffmann has followed her heart to West Texas and is making the most of her time at Angelo State.

After graduating from the Fashion Design Academy in Hamburg, Germany, with a degree in fashion and textile management, Kauffmann found out that her boyfriend, Bernhard Gierke, had received a scholarship to study international business at ASU. Not wanting to be apart for a year, she decided to follow him. But, that wasn’t the only reason.

“It was also a chance for me to come to America at least one more time,” Kauffmann said. “It was a dream of mine to come back for longer than just a vacation. I wanted to live here and see how the people are. So I am very happy that ASU gave me the chance to come here for a year.”

Now studying international business herself at ASU, Kauffmann is also sharing what she calls her father’s “fascination with Texas culture.” She recently bought a big, red Dodge Ram pick-up truck.

“That was my second dream,” Kauffmann said, “because in Germany, you can’t drive a truck. A lot of Americans are laughing at me about it, but that is fine. I am really happy with it.”

But, it should be no real surprise that Kauffmann is fascinated by America. She was actually born in Chicago, though she returned with her parents to Germany when she was just a year old.

After growing up in Bayreuth, Germany, Kauffmann talked her parents into sending her to the Schule Schloss Salem (School of Salem Castle) boarding school in the German state of Baden-Württemberg for high school. One of the most prestigious elite schools in Europe, it is often attended by German nobility.

“I met a famous German princess,” Kauffmann said. “But, she is not a princess like Princess Diana. She is more like a princess of just a part of Germany, descended from the people who used to own it hundreds of years ago.”

Now she enjoys living in Texan Hall, being able to use the ASU gym facilities for free and attending a variety of campus activities and events, things she said were not as readily available at her German college. She is also enjoying the fabled West Texas hospitality.

“It is a completely new experience and I’m trying to learn everything I can,” Kauffman said. “It is also interesting to see all the different people and live with Texans. I love it.”