We attended a party at the home of the local foreign exchange student coordinator this afternoon. I met many of the students, plus some host parents. The coordinator gave us some guidelines as host families and assured us that we could call her any time we had a question. This gives all of us a lot of confidence about the coming year.
The home of the coordinator is beautiful. There is a swimming pool at the back of the house where we gathered, ate some snack food, drank cool drinks and visited. Small children enjoyed the pool while the rest us tried to stay as cool as possible in the 90+ degree heat – no small feat.
I met several of the girl exchange students and saw several of the boys. We were told that it was THOUGHT we would have 7 exchange students at Greenwood High School this year. It actually turns out we’ll have 13!
I think we may be the only first-time host parents this year. We met a lot of really nice people, all excited about a year being host parents. I’m delighted that the kids had time to get to know one another at least a bit before school starts this coming Monday.
I’m using the Facebook page that the local coordinator set up to introduce you to a few of our students -
“Hi everyone! My name is baileigh, I’m 17 years old and I’m from New Zealand. Like all of you guys seem to be, I am quite sporty also, although the sport I play is netball, and while it is big in New Zealand and Australia, it’s not so big in America. Hopefully that means I can give another sport a go i am also really interested in the arts, in particular drama! It is one of my biggest passions. During this experience, even though it will only last 5 months, I am hoping to meet a lot of new people and just be exposed to a new culture with which I hope to bring back to my country.”
“Hi I’m Giovanni and I am from Italy in a place next to the mountains. I’m 16 and I love playing basketball indeed I hope I will play it there. I also like other sports like soccer or climbing but I’d like to try new sports. I will do this experience because I would like to live another life far from home, not only for the distance. —”
“Hello, my name is Marianne, and I am a 16 (soon 17) years old girl from Norway. I like to cuddle with my three polar bear. Just kidding, we don´t have polar bear where I live. But I love horses, and my main hobby is to ride. I am a busy girl, because I have up to four working days a week at the local pizza bakery, beside horseback riding once a week, school, family and friends. 24 hours is not enough. I am sure that my stay in Greenwood, Arkansas will change my life in many ways, and I am really looking forward to arrive in mid-August. I hope that at the end of my year, I will look back at every thing I hopefully have achieved and that I don´t regret that there were chances I didn´t take. — “
“Hi! My name is Mimmi and I am a 15 year old girl from Sweden. I like to play soccer aswell as doing outside activities like hiking, biking and running. On my sparetime I play a lot of soccer and I hang out with my friends and family. We usually hang out at the mall and just talk. For my exchange year in Greenwood, I am really looking forward to get to know a lot of new people, aswell as being a part of a new culture and country, also I hope to make a lot of unforgettable memories together with everyone in Greenwood. —”
I’m Pyrt and I’m 17 years old.
I come from Finland and I cant wait to meet you all
I am a hudge sport fan and I play basketball here, as well as in Greenwood. I’m also a big soccer fan! I am waiting to experience the American culture and school system and off course I want to meet new people from different countries. Again, I am really looking forward to meet you all when the school starts! —”
“Hello!! My name is Santi and I’m from Barcelona (spain). I’m 16 years old and I’m going to do 11th grade. I like all sports, specially soccer and I want to play in Greenwood to. I want to learn all the things of the american culture and be another american boy. Probably I do some mistakes, sorry but my English is not very well. —”
My name is Vivian, I’m 15 years old and I’m from Germany. I just graduated school here, so I have a lot of free time. I love to hang out with friends, take pictures, hear music, something like that.
For my exchange year I’m looking forward to meet new people with another cultural backround, make new friends and have a lot of fun in school, at sports in the afternoon and with my host family. And of course: to feel the american school-spirit. And, as mimmi said, make some memories I’ll never forget in my life and have a lot of fun in Greenwood.”
Isn’t this a wonderful group of young men and young women? I admire their courage in coming to a foreign country to live with a family they’ve never met, go to a strange school, all in a different language and culture. I haven’t had the opportunity to meet all of the exchange students yet. We hope that our Vivian will invite them, plus other new friends, to our house soon.
May these brave people have a wonderful experience in Greenwood, Arkansas this school year. I hope they meet a lot of people they’ll remember the rest of their lives.
Now we have begun!