Welcome to America: foreign exchange students
Published on 09/29/2015 by Patsy Stoddard on Emery County Progress
Along with the arrival of a new school year in Emery County comes the new international exchange students. They want to come to America for a variety of reasons. They wish to expand their horizons and see how things are done in a different country than their homeland.
Adele Justice is the coordinator for Emery and Carbon counties for the Aspect International Exchange Student program. She went along with the families to the airport where they greeted the new arrivals. She also picked up Laure Anne Bya from Belgium and kept her until her new family arrived home from vacation. She arranged the families in the two county area for the students to stay with.
The experience is also good for the students at Emery and Carbon High schools as they learn about the countries where the exchange students come from and they bring their culture to rural Utah as well.
As the area coordinator Justice will plan activities for the students while they are here in Emery County. The first activity was a welcome to America event at the Huntington Lion’s Park. The students and their host families met for a dinner and Justice spoke to the students about what to expect in their year in America. These activities will include: pumpkin carving, corn maze, see the Christmas lights in Salt Lake, going bowling, Valentine party, St. Patrick’s Day party and a trip to Zion’s Park. The students will become involved with the planning of activities so they will be able to experience some of the things they’ve heard are popular in America.
Guzman Egea Aguado is from Espanal, Spain. “I have come to America to learn the language and to meet people.”
Lea Rodriguez is from France, she said, “I have come to learn English and to go to school. In America, you can do anything. If you don’t know what you want to do after you graduate, there are many things to choose from. I have come to find friends. There are many opportunities here for sports. The music here is very fast and the dancing. The USA is very unique. It is a good country. Everyone has been good to me. I love the school, so many choices, you can choose what you want. In France, school is more specialized with text books, lessons, video. I am learning about the school here, and finding my classes. People here have been very helpful and very friendly.”
“Helena Celis is from France. “My mom used to be an Au pair (nanny) here in American and my sister did that. I wanted to go abroad too and wanted the American teenager experience, but I didn’t want to be an Au pair, so I became a foreign exchange student.”
Lili-Zoe Peetz is from Germany. “I wanted to be part of a second family. I wanted to feel the school spirit. I want to learn English and meet a new culture and see new things.”
Pauline Herzog is from Germany. “I wanted to see how life is here. The school is good and the people are friendly.”
Laure-Anne Bya is from Belgium. “I wanted to learn English and meet everyone here. I want to discover the USA. I want to make friends and to meet new people and to have a different experience.”
Julie Woodhouse is from one of the host families. “I wanted my children to experience another culture. Guzman lives with us.”
The students will live with local host families and experience the American way of life for an academic year. They are sponsored by Aspect Foundation, a non-profit organization that strives to bridge cultures through international youth exchange.
Aspect Foundation is always seeking more families who want the unforgettable experience of hosting an international student. Exchange students are aged 15 to 18, speak English, and have their own spending money and insurance. Volunteer host families provide room, board, and a loving home environment for a semester or academic year.
For more information about hosting an Aspect Foundation international exchange student, call Adele Justice at 435-384-3066, the Aspect Foundation national office at 1-800-US-YOUTH or visit http://www.aspectfoundation.org.