Foreign Exchange Programs Give High School Students New Opportunities


Hamzah 2016 Arrowhead exchange student from Yemen

Maraba Roznik, Reporter


Foreign exchange programs allow students to immerse themselves in different cultures and languages different from their own. Students can connect with different people from other countries, learn to be independent, and share their culture and represent their own country.

According to AFS (American Field Service) International Programs USA volunteer, Ruth Behrend, “[The] main goal is to create productive global citizens on one and one basis, to be ambassadors for their countries.”

Arrowhead High School’s foreign exchange program allows students to branch out to different ways of learning while getting to know the American culture. This year’s foreign exchange students are the following: Hamzah Al-meer (Yemen), Francesco Carrera (Italy), Yesslin Kvorning (Denmark), and Marion Meyer (Switzerland).

The students’ reasons for joining the program range from wanting to learn English to wanting to experience something different, and learn about other cultures.  

Kvorning says, “[I joined] to be more independent, to get the experience of trying to live in another country by myself.”

The exchange students get a chance to experience attending a new school that may be different from what they are used to.

Kvorning says, “[American schools are] really different. Bigger. It’s more difficult than I thought it would be.”

Meyer says, “It’s quite the same, but here it’s bigger. There is more people, and more classes.”

As a way to make Arrowhead feel smaller to these foreign students, Arrowhead offers the International Student Club, which help the exchange students adjust and adapt to the American culture through activities and events.

American students in this club get the chance to connect and get to know the culture and lifestyle of the foreign exchange students.

Students can join the International Student Club by attending its meetings on the first Tuesday of every month at 2:45pm in the North Campus library classroom. Also, they can email the club advisor AHS counselor Brianne Mehlos.

The International Student Club, along with the Arrowhead staff and students, help the foreign exchange students feel more comfortable being in a completely different part of the world.

Kvorning says, “I think people are really nice. They like to ask me about the country. And the teachers really help you if you have problems. And they are really nice about it, and really help you if you need the help because maybe you have the language barrier.”

Meyer says, “The people are very nice. I like everything. I like being here.”

Foreign exchange programs offer new experiences and opportunities for those who want to take a different approach in learning about others cultures.

Meyer says, “It’s very interesting, you meet new people, and you speak another language. You see other other things. It’s different, it’s good.”