High school classes, new brothers and sisters, local festivals, sporting events and holiday traditions. A group of exchange students in North Carolina had already lived much of the “American experience” when they had the opportunity to travel last month right to the heart of it: Washington D.C.
Aspect Foundation host mom Andrea organized a trip for exchange students in the Sanford area to explore the capital city of their new home. From a tour of the White House to a visit to Georgetown Cupcakes, the students explored the sights and historical landmarks that dot Washington D.C.’s cityscape. “We really liked the Smithsonian Museum because it was pretty interesting and we could learn new things,” shared Tung from Germany and Guilherme from Brazil. “One of our favorite parts was the White House, because we had the opportunity to go inside while the president was there!” added Fiona and Leslie, both students from Germany.
The students, having learned the basics of American government and politics from their classes back home and in the U.S., received a fuller picture of how the system works from their visit. “It helped us understand the social concerns of America and how passionate people are about the pursuit of life,” said Tung and Guilherme. Noting the differences between America’s government and their home countries’, the exchange students reflected on the role of the president and the processes through which policies are carried out.
Aspect coordinator Sandy in North Carolina says the students learned a lot, and had a great time. “Every day, they did something different,” she explained. “They walked 10 miles the first day! They even met other exchange students here at our school. They had a lot of fun.” Returning back to North Carolina with new friends and memories, the Aspect students now also have a fresh view on their exchange year and what the “American experience” really means.