The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

The Student News Site of Greenwood Community High School

Timberlines Online

Exchange students welcome adventure

This school year’s foreign exchange students share their experiences her at Greenwood.

Imagine every word spoken must be learned anew and everything cultural tradition must now be adapted to those of a new setting in a foreign country. That is the reality of sophomore Luis Giner Perez, one of this year’s foreign exchange students.

“I have been in America for two weeks. So far, I like staying in Greenwood, making new friends and having fun with my host family. When it comes to school, it is hard because it is so large. In Spain, we don’t have big schools like this. Other than that, I enjoy Greenwood. Sometimes, it is difficult to communicate, but you learn how to communicate with practice,” Perez said.

Far from home across the Atlantic Ocean, junior Sebastian Cronblad,  seems to like how things are done here in America.

 “So far, I’ve been here for, I think, three weeks. I really like Greenwood. It’s way larger than where I come from, so it’s a good upgrade. I actually come from a small town in Norway called Narvic,” Cronblad said. 

Cronblad elaborated on how he has perceived the behaviors of people here in America.

“I really enjoy the people here in Greenwood. Everyone here has a lot of initiative compared to Norway, and that I really like,” he said. 

Perez and Cronblad, are joined by Miguel Dias, an exchange student from Portugal. Similar to the other two, Dias seems to enjoy Greenwood.

“I am enjoying being here at Greenwood so far; yeah, it has been great. The school is very different, and the city, like in Portugal, I live in a very big city, so things like that,” Dias said.

Dias expressed some of his greatest challenges.

“The most challenging part, I guess, to adapting is probably the language and people being different than I am used to. I think people act differently from Portugal. They are more open and nicer. I actually enjoy it very much. The classes are not really very difficult for me because it is basically the same that I am learning in Portugal,” Dias said.

The curriculum in a school thousands of miles away is surely to differ from Ghs. Cronblad revealed just how he feels about his new classes.

“In Norway, every class is pretty standardized, so every student goes through almost the exact same thing. But here, it is more customizable, so I can have classes more suited to me in America,” Cronblad said. 

Mrs. Angela Aragon teaches Perez, in her English as a New Language class. 

“I think it’s a really cool opportunity to help somebody get better at learning English, and I also like different perspectives of people that are outside of the United States. So far, I feel like he has a really positive attitude, and he is someone that connects to other students and makes them feel comfortable,” Mrs. Aragon said.

There are various challenges that could hinder a high school student who does not fully know American culture and language, but that makes no difference to Cronblad because given the chance, he would love to stay.

“I would probably stay because I enjoy seeing something new, and America, so far, has been full of new things. So, I want to explore as much as I possibly can,” he said.

Foreign exchange students stay with host families. Freshman David Gavin Arnold and his family host Miguel Dias for this school year.

“My family have been hosting exchange students for probably about eight years. I’ve been doing it since I was seven years old, so it’s been a really long time. It’s been pretty fun,” Arnold said. 

Arnold’s life is a little different with new exchange students every year, and it requires some adjustment, but Arnold would have it no other way. 

“Well normally, I’m an only child. So usually, it would be kind of boring throughout the day, but with exchange students it’s way more fun,” he said.

Arnold and his family love taking the exchange students to various places.

“Usually every year, we take them to Disney World. I’ve been to Disney World a lot. I think almost every exchange student we’ve hosted has been to Disney World. Our last one we actually took him out of the country to Jamaica, and I think that’s the only out-of-country trip we took, and that was Jens from Denmark,” Arnold said. 

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