Adapting to a new culture

Two senior exchange students experience American life

Kelsey Hogan, Web Journalist

Moving across the country to a completely new place can be scary for a foreign exchange student or for any teenager. However, experiencing a new culture and traditions can be very exciting to learn different ways of life. The downside is that being away from family and friends can make a person feel very home sick .

“I left my family in France for a year and I can’t see them because I have a lot of rules,” said senior Justine Gonzales. “It’s hard because I can’t see my family or friends for a long period of time.”

With the transition from France to American, Justine moved in with a host family at the beginning of the school year and will stay with them for the remainder of her senior year. With her home away from home, she has become close with her host family and thinks of them as real family now.

“At first it was difficult to get use to being away from my real family and friends but after a few weeks I became more familiar and close  with my host family,” said Gonzales.

Some things that do not come easy for foreign exchange students are the transition from their previous high school to the new high school in America. The student may need to learn new rules and regulations.

“It is easier learning at Northwest than in Egypt, the education system here is different and easier to understand,” said senior Mohamed El Hanaat.

With all these advantages and disadvantages for foreign exchange students, the experience is worth the months away from their family and friends to get involved in a different atmosphere and to understand unique ways of life.