AHS welcomes exchange student
Published on 09/02/2015 by Leeanna Ellis on Arlington Citizen
“I just wanted to see what it was like,” said Marie-Claire, an exchange student for the 2015-16 school year at Arlington High School. “The school is different. I know that now. It’s a big experience to live with a new family and to know people from Nebraska. I would never have met them.”
The 15-year-old sophomore from Hamburg, Germany, is staying with Nathan and Vanessa Kinnaman and their four children.
Marie-Claire, who has three younger sisters, said her parents were supportive of her decision to attend a year of school in the U.S.
“They were happy for me that I could have such an experience,” she said. “They were a bit sad because I’m the oldest, so they were a bit hurt to let me go for one year.”
Moving to Arlington and attending AHS was a bit of an adjustment for Marie-Claire, whose German high school has an enrollment of 700. Students also don’t change classrooms. Instead, the teachers move from class to class.
“I think it’s nice,” Marie-Claire said of AHS. “You know more people. It’s nice to change classrooms and the classmates you have.”
Marie-Claire is also participating in sports while at the school.
“I tried cross-country, but it was really hard,” she said. “I thought maybe I’d try a team sport.”
Instead, she joined the softball team. In Germany, Marie-Claire played tennis and ran track. She’s never played softball.
“It’s very hard, but it’s getting easier,” she said.
Marie-Claire said she’s enjoying the camaraderie with the girls on the team.
“I really like the softball team,” she said. “They’re so close and it’s so much fun to play with them.”
During her year in Arlington, Marie-Claire said she hopes to improve her English, make many new friends and enjoy time with her host family.