East welcomes exchange students

Learning a new culture in a new environment can be overwhelming and stir up a lot of different emotions. It can be especially stressful for foreign exchange students to adjust to living in America as students.

Seniors Melissa Metzger, Emma Bjørnskov, and Lucas Mikkelson came to the U.S. earlier this year to learn more about the diverse culture. As soon as they arrived, they quickly found out things they like about their environment.

“My favorite part about being here is my family and that I have siblings which makes me happy,” Metzger said.

Mikkelsen, from Norway, explained the process of how to shift from one currency to the other. Because people from other countries cannot use their own currency in the U.S., they have to get American money through their bank so that it is not confusing for travelers such as the foreign exchange students.

“We have Norweigen crowns so then the bank just transfers the money to the dollars so I can go to the bank, and then pull the money out when I need it,” Mikkelsen said.

Metzger, from Germany, came to the U.S. to explore and to learn, but also just to have fun. Going to different places in America is also crucial for the foreign exchange students so they can see other regions and experience different climates.

Even when having fun, there is always those times where they miss their hometown and miss spending time with family and friends.

“My least favorite part about being here is my friends because we do not have anybody here to meet with,” Metzger said.

Bjørnskov, from Denmark, came to the U.S. with a positive attitude and hopes to achieve her goals while in the states. Each foriegn exchange student had something in mind they wanted to achieve in during their time in America.

Their goals ranged from big to small. For example, some goals were to play a sport that they do not have back in their countries or to just make new friends so that they can make their time here more pleasant and comforting.

“I want my English to get better and for my Danish accent to go away and overall to get a bond with my host family and friends,” Bjørnskov said.

All of the foreign exchange students that attend East this year are here for both semesters, meaning they have more time to accomplish any of the goals they may have.

Students can learn a variety of skills and advance their English language skills, which is a great way for different students to experience other cultures and to explore the host nation.

“[What] I want to accomplish here is to eat more hamburgers and to go to a drive in and to find friends for life,” Metzger said.