The Howler

Foreign Exchange students reflect after a semester of high school

Rose Buhnese

Staff Photo by Jake Whitehead

Rose Buhnese

Yasmin Rosa, Staff Writer

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ROSE BUHNESE, Germany

Q: What tradition are you most looking forward to?

A: We don’t have Thanksgiving so that was very different. Our Christmas is very different so I am excited to see how that goes.

Q: What surprised you the most about America?

A: Probably the schools. There are very different from the ones in Germany. We don’t have as many clubs as you guys have here.

Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to adapt to?

A: Everything here is done by car, I can’t even ride a bike to school because I am so far. Also being so far from my friends and family.

Q: What do you hope to learn through this experience?

A: I hope to better my English and work better with other people.

Q: When does homesickness start to hit? Do you get over it?

A: The first month and a half was probably the worst because everything is so new. I am kind of over it now, but I still miss my family a lot.

Q: Are there any foods or restaurants in America that aren’t in your country that you’ve fallen in love with?

A: There is a lot a fried stuff here. It was funny to eat the deep fried Oreos at the fair. I would not have eaten them in Germany.

Q: Is there anything else you want your peers to know about your experience here or your own country?

A: I would encourage people to join foreign exchange so they can get to know other cultures and countries.

 

Staff Photo by Jake Whitehead
Maria Rosa D’Andrade

MARIA ROSA D’ANDRADE,  Portugal

Q: What tradition are you most looking forward to?

A: I was excited for Thanksgiving, but also Christmas because all of the decorations are so much more and bigger.

Q: What surprised you the most about America?

A: Everything is so big and separate. There is so much space.

Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to adapt to?

A: Sometimes I don’t understand what people say and just school in general.

Q: What do you hope to learn through this experience?

A: I hope to have better English by the time I go home and to learn what it is like to be an American

Q: When does homesickness start to hit? Do you get over it?

A: I started being homesick October. I really miss being home with my family and friends.

Q: Are there any foods or restaurants in America that aren’t in your country that you’ve fallen in love with?

A: Mostly all of them, but I really like Taco Bell.

Q: Is there anything else you want your peers to know about your experience here or your own country?

A: Portugal is not Spain.

 

Staff Photo by Jake Whitehead
Isabela Mercer

ISABELA MERCER, Brazil

Q: What tradition are you most looking forward to?

A: Christmas, definitely

Q: What surprised you the most about America?

A: The houses are very different, they are very different and big. The fact that people leave their cars parked on the street at night is very crazy to me.

Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to adapt to?

A: The food isn’t as fresh as it is in Brazil.

Q: What do you hope to learn through this experience?

A: I hope to make a lot of friends and have nice memories here. I would like to know what it is like to go to a different country and really get out of my comfort zone.

Q: When does homesickness start to hit? Do you get over it?

A: I don’t think I will ever get over it. It’s really hard to not think about your family or friends back home. I don’t think there’s a special time when it hits.

Q: Are there any foods or restaurants in America that aren’t in your country that you’ve fallen in love with?

A: You guys have much more Mexican places here than we do so I wasn’t really used to eating spicy or Mexican food that much.

Q: Is there anything else you want your peers to know about your experience here or your own country?

A: I hope people can get a better sense how big the world is because sometimes we are so busy focusing on our own country and culture that we don’t realize there is so much more out there.

 

Staff Photo by Jake Whitehead
Nora Nyheim

NORA NYHEIM, Norway

Q: What tradition are you most looking forward to?

A: I was looking forward to Thanksgiving because I have never experienced that before. I thought it would be more of a big deal but it was mostly just a big family dinner. Also the Fourth of July and definitely prom.

Q: What surprised you the most about America?

A: Actually experiencing America, it’s not like how the movies show it.

Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to adapt to?

A: The bell schedule, at my old school we never had any bells. Also having to wake up about two hours before I usually do.

Q: What do you hope to learn through this experience?

A: I hope to learn how well I am able to adapt to different cultures and learn more about myself.

Q: When does homesickness start to hit? Do you get over it?

A: It probably took two and a half months when it started to hit, it’s my first Christmas without my family so I miss them and my friends.

Q: Are there any foods or restaurants in America that aren’t in your country that you’ve fallen in love with?

A: I really like Cookout. They have really good milkshakes.

Q: Is there anything else you want your peers to know about your experience here or your own country?

A: Norwegians, in general, are really nice but also really awkward and it’s just kind of funny seeing how different it is here.

 

Staff Photo by Jake Whitehead
Karlotta Shaefer

KARLOTTA SCHAEFER Germany

Q: What tradition are you most looking forward to?

A: I was really excited for Thanksgiving because we don’t have that in Germany, and it was really cool.

Q: What surprised you the most about America?

A: The school spirit is very different. Everyone wears school shirts and really supports his or her school.

Q: What is the hardest thing that you have had to adapt to?

A: I think living without my family and friends and not being able to see them for a whole year.

Q: What do you hope to learn through this experience?

A: I hope that I can improve my English and get to know the American culture.  I want to make more friends and learn about the United States.

Q: When does the homesickness start to hit? Do you ever get over it?

A: It was stronger in the beginning. Wakefield is very big and I felt a little bit lost on the first days. It only stayed for a few days, but it got better as I started to make more friends and get to know people better.

Q: Are there any foods or restaurants in America that aren’t in your country that you’ve fallen in love with?

A: I really like Chick-Fil-A and Zaxby’s. In Germany, there isn’t that much Mexican food and there is a lot here that I enjoy.

Q: Is there anything else you want your peers to know about your experience here?

A: I like how friendly people are and it’s nice when people ask me questions about my country.

 

Staff Photo by Jake Whitehead
Lucia Urquiaga

LUCIA URQUIAGA Spain

Q: What tradition are you most looking forward to?

A: Thanksgiving and Christmas, because here it’s a lot bigger. Mostly just holidays in general.

Q: What surprised you the most about America?

A: Everything is a lot bigger.

Q: What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to adapt to?

A: The people here are not that open. You actually have to go out and talk to people.

Q: What do you hope to learn through this experience?

A: I am learning a lot of things about myself, but I also want to be bilingual in English.

Q: When does homesickness start to hit? Do you get over it?

A: The first day of school was the hardest for me. I really missed my family and that was my first moment of homesickness. Homesickness is here for me all the time, but it’s not as bad as it was.

Q: Are there any foods or restaurants in America that aren’t in your country that you’ve fallen in love with?

A: Here there is a lot of fast food and many more options to choose from.

Q: Is there anything else you want your peers to know about your experience here or your own country?

A: This is going to be the year of my life for sure. I feel much more independent just going to another country by myself. It’s amazing and now I have two families and many amazing friends.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Foreign Exchange students reflect after a semester of high school”

  1. Erin Kalbarczyk on December 20th, 2017 1:41 pm

    Thanks so much for asking these students how things have been going for them thus far. They set out on a journey of discovery and learning when they applied to come here. I am proud to say I know 4 of these students and their families because my organization, World Heritage Student Exchange Programs, sponsored them. You can learn more about hosting opportunities at http://www.whhosts.com

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Foreign Exchange students reflect after a semester of high school