Far from home

Traveling from far and wide, exchange students adapt to new surroundings.


keira walter

Conill finishes her assignment during first period for anatomy and physiology. She had worked with other classmates, making new friends in her classes. “It is one of my hardest classes because there is a lot of words that I need to learn because in Catalan or Spanish [language] is different,” Conill said. Photo by Keira Walter.

Keira Walter, Staff Reporter

  Taking in a new scenery the exchange students come to America. Programs such as EF High School Exchange, International Student Exchange, AFS- USA, Pan Atlantic Foundation, and Asse International provide the resources and transportation for each of their students. All arriving at different times, the students get accustomed to their host family and the home they will be staying in. Traveling from countries like Spain, Italy, Germany, and Norway they plan to stay for around ten months.  

   The student exchange program creates an opportunity for students all over the world to explore and learn more about the United States school system. Anna Conill (‘23) travelled close to four thousand miles from Spain to America, leaving to adapt to the new high school and country. 

   “Me, and I am sure the other girls too, wanted to live an experience that we will remember forever, we want to learn more of the language, but the most we want to meet more people, make new friends and learn about the American culture,” Conill said. 

   Comparing the differences between their lives back in their home and to America may not be a tremendous change in an everyday routine, but there are differences between social interaction, school, and weather. Selma Jenssen (‘23) ‘s previous school was much smaller. Her usual schedule during school hours changed from having different classes every day to having the same six classes each day. 

   “There is a lot more people here,” Jenssen said. “It is very different, but I really like it, I think it is cool.” 

    Taking part in the student exchange gives the students an opportunity to learn new material, explore famous places, and make memories. Jenssen, Conill, and Katrina Botsioglou (‘24) attended the football game on Sep. 3. They attend school activities and enroll in sports to get involved.  

   “You all are really nice people, and it’s easy to get used to it,” Botsioglou said. 

   From exploring different academic fields and joining school sports teams, foreign exchange students are given the chance to absorb American culture through multiple aspects of their time at JWMHS.