Our Exchange Students


Our five exchange students from around the world

Holliday Palazzolo and Mena Southward

As the second year of the new school begins to make way, more and more students are beginning to move into the district. Whether it’d be freshmans experiencing their first year of high school or seniors preparing to graduate, the school is full of interesting students. However, there are five students among us who are experiencing something new. As of right now, we have five students here studying abroad from: Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark, and France. These five students transferred here to experience the culture, learn the language, and learn amongst the rest of the students here.

“I came here because I wanted to experience the culture and broaden my horizons,” Victoire Bourdin de Bechillon said, our exchange student from France. “Compared to my home in France, nothing’s the same. The people are nicer and I feel like the teachers are much more involved, that being said, I am enjoying my time here. I miss my family, but it almost feels like I’m on vacation, especially since it’s a big step out of my comfort zone.”

But Victoire isn’t our only exchange student who feels a little out of place, but thanks to the students and staff, our five exchange students are starting to settle in.

“I’ve always wanted to travel to the US since middle school, and now that I’m here, It’s completely different from my home in Italy,” Giacomo Menditto, our exchange student from Italy said. “When I first arrived here, I definitely had trouble learning the language, but thankfully, all of my new friends and teachers are nice enough to help. I do miss my family back in Italy, especially my brother, but I hope to take away as much as I can during my time here.”

“I came here because I wanted to improve my English & help the school spirit by expressing that this is a great school for other foreign students that are thinking about studying abroad,” Melissa Esenwein, our exchange student from Germany said. “It’s certainly a lot more fun here, the teachers are much more involved with helping the students. As of right now, I’m not very homesick, and I’m enjoying my time here thoroughly.”

It takes a lot of bravery to try something new, especially when it is in a new country.

“I wanted to try something different, hence why I decided to move here to study abroad. The schools are certainly much bigger, and it’s very fun here,” Karolina Ahrensburg said, an exchange student from Denmark. “Learning the language wasn’t that hard. I’ve been learning English since 4th grade, but meeting new people in another country certainly was nerve-racking. That being said, I do like it here very much and I hope to improve my English and become more independent while I’m here.”

America is a dream for many students who live abroad, and some of the exchange programs have extensive processes to choose who can study abroad. In the EF Program, over 60,000 students apply, around 15,000 get interviews, and around half of those get accepted into the program. One of the qualifications is having a basic understanding of the English language.

“It was my dream to study abroad and experience the broad range of excitement that comes with traveling and learning in other countries,” Maria Vazquez Garcia, our exchange student from Spain said. “Everything here is very different, everyone has so much school spirit, meanwhile the schools back at home are usually very independent. It wasn’t very hard for me to learn the language, and I didn’t experience much of a culture shock. When I eventually do leave, I hope to have learned more about the culture and the mannerisms, that way I can leave America happy and fulfilled.”

As the years go by and more and more students begin to enter and leave the school, we are hoping that more exchange students will see our school as a safe haven to learn & grow. As freshmen enter the school with open arms, and as seniors prepare to leave, we hope that any and all students who study here will leave with beautiful memories and a bountiful wealth of knowledge.