German Students from the Film Akademie in Ludwigsburg

German Students


The University of Texas at Austin receives hundreds of foreign exchange students every year
from all parts of the world. This year, three exchange students from the Film Akademie in
Ludwigsburg, Germany have made their way onto the 40 Acres and into the Moody College
family. Viktor Presber, Vanessa Stachel, and Elias Ben-Dahhou arrived on campus at the
beginning of the Spring semester. The three share a common interest in film, directing, and

“I’m excited to collaborate with U.S. students and other creatives to focus on copywriting, which
is not taught much in Germany,” said Stachel. Another commonality amongst the students is their
appreciation for what they describe as the innovative, experimental nature that makes up the U.S.
film market.

“I think the U.S. film market is driven by humor, and is much more daring,” said Stachel. “The
German market can be posh, safe, and people-pleasing,”
Ben-Dahhou said the U.S. film market is a creative playground with amazing opportunities to
learn unique film styles and techniques from U.S. directors. When asked what they think of
where the best representation of the U.S. ad market comes from, the exchange students mutually
agreed on Super Bowl commercial spots. Their favorite advertisement this year came from
T-Mobile starring Jason Momoa.

“The way the advertising world can tell a story in 30 or 60 seconds is a magic tool in the
market,” Ben-Dahhou said.

The culture of UT can be intimidating for anyone new to campus, but the exchange students
mutually agree that it is a vibrant atmosphere where people are interested in them.
“You can talk to anyone, and people will be receptive to you,” said Ben-Dahhou.
The students have even begun to check out some of the campus’s popular social spots on West

“I went to Victory Lap and tried crawfish for the first time - too spicy,” Presber said.
The students have a personal bucket list of activities they’re hoping to try out while living in
Texas, such as The Houston Rodeo and a visit to Big Bend National Park. They are even more

excited to experience their first American film festival, SXSW. The three of them said they are
eager to network with new people with similar interests in film.
SXSW, known for its repertoire of film screenings, brings in international students and future
innovators of film and television every year. The festival kicks off this Friday from March 8-16
for nine days of film, television, and extended reality (XR) screenings.

Amanda Sierra