Students Come to LHS from All Over the World

Students Come to LHS from All Over the World

By Hala Fadhil During the years that I have been at Lincoln High School, I have met students who come from different countries to the United States for a year or a half-year and then return to their countries. I was wondering about their situation, so I asked some friends about this phenomenon. They explained

Jasmin Kohlei (11) works on the computer during her 5th period Physics class with Will Smith. Photo by Coleman Johnson

By Hala Fadhil

During the years that I have been at Lincoln High School, I have met students who come from different countries to the United States for a year or a half-year and then return to their countries. I was wondering about their situation, so I asked some friends about this phenomenon. They explained to me about the Exchange Students Program.

A student comes from another county for a short period to get experience about other peoples’ lives or to learn about that county’s culture, so there are plenty of reasons for these students to come to the United States.  For example, most of these students come to improve their skills in English, to learn new things about American traditions, and to get an opportunity to make new friends and interact with students who are their same age.  This experience builds the student’s self-esteem by accom­plishing or discovering new things in their lives, helps them to build a strong person­ality, and gives them a little clearer vision about the world in their early age. Also it makes them aware of how to encounter problems and to find a solution for it by themselves.

German teacher and World language Department Chair Marissa Wanamaker has been a host family for several students. Students who want to come to United States should have good skills in English and be advanced in their education so they can catch up with English subjects and pass with high expectations. Most of the students come to the U.S. to get to know more about American culture and tradi­tions. They come for a year mostly, and it’s hard for them to leave their friends and family. The class credits that they get in United States schools, however, do not transfer to their school, so they have to re­take the same grade that they studied in the U.S. The experiences help them in their resumes so it makes it easy for them to get a job based on this experience.  The host family doesn’t get paid for this service, and the family should provide at least food for the student. Other than that, the student should be accountable for his or her own expenses, so basically the student pays for everything.  Wanamaker said, “We always share some of the fun times and the wonderful memories between me as a host family and the exchange student. We always talk about the differences between my country and their country. As we talk, each of us learn about other culture which is really cool thing.”

Exchange students and the host family do not choose each other. There are organizations that are accountable to find a host family or state to live in based on the student’s interests, and these organizations match up the stu­dent and the host family.

Jasmin Kohlei is a junior from Germany. She came here to get some experiences, improve her English, learn about American culture, and also see the differences between the students in her country and in the U.S. in general. She is very happy here, and she likes the kindness of people. She also men­tioned that she is learning a lot of things at Lincoln High.

Traveling and changing place from one to another, meeting new people, learn­ing new things, and earning experiences are the most valuable gift that the exchange student get to own. They might have to spend money for it, but the results worth more than what they pay for this extraordi­nary experience.

If you are really interested to be one of the exchange students you can contact Karen Carlson, Regional Coordinator, E F Foundation for Foreign Study. The phone number is (402) 489-3551 or (4020 770-4686, or you can reach her @ Karen.carlson42@gmail.com

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