Meet Paul Klaeren

Making the Decision for Franklin College

Sports has long been strong link for both individuals and countries. For Paul Klaeren, who will graduate in 2025, his passion for swimming led him from Düsseldorf, Germany to Franklin College to compete on the team.

“I wanted to continue swimming but that us very difficult to do in Germany because we don’t have college teams,” said Klaeren. “You would have to organize it all on your own.”

Paul KlaerenKlaeren worked with a company call Scholar-Book to find colleges that fit both his academic and athletic needs. With Franklin highly recommended, Klaeren met with Swim Coach Andrew Hendricks, and the rest is history.

While recognizing that Franklin College would be a new setting – new people, new language, new customs – Klaeren struggled the most with making the first commitment. After making that commitment, Franklin staff helped him not only make his way across the world but helped him adjust with the new settings of his life. They gave him support systems and chances to interact with other new students.

“The hardest part was making the final decision,” said Klaeren. “Sitting there saying, ‘Yeah this is what I want to do.’ I didn’t have any major problems with the language or finding friends.”

Klaeren has not only found support and guidance from Coach Hendricks but also from his teammates. At Franklin, Klaeren has learned that being a team is important; he has to score for the team to win.

“In Germany you don’t swim relays and you only do club. You basically swim for yourself. Here you actually need to score for your team,” said Klaeren. “I wouldn’t limit my support to one person [on the team]. It is always someone different on the team… 95% of the people helped me to adjust.”

Wherever you travel from and whatever your passion is, Franklin College will help you do your personal best and feel like you are home.

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