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Welcoming Foreign Friends

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Several foreign flags hanging on the walls of DHS.

By: Mike O.

This current 2013-2014 school year, Duxbury High School welcomed three new foreign exchange students. Through American Field Service, or AFS as it is known by most students, sophomore Adelaide D. and juniors Ben S. and Wiebke R. were able to come to DHS. These students will be staying for the whole school year with host families.

In regards to the program, AFS advisor and French teacher Mr. Massicotte said, “The goal of the program is to promote intercultural exchange and to allow students from all over the world to come to the United States.”

When asked about their feelings on being in a foreign country the three students agreed that it was a pretty easy transition. The three students also had fairly similar motivations for coming to America. Adelaide D. said, “I wanted to learn English, experience new things, and discover a new culture.”

Both Adelaide D. and Wiebke R. missed things about their countries. They missed their families and friends. Ben S. said he missed his country’s food.

To the students, the way DHS functions is the biggest difference between America and Austria, France, and Germany. In all three of their countries the students remain in one classroom throughout the day while their different teachers come to them. Thus, the rotating schedule and passing to different classrooms have been the hardest adjustments for the students.

Sports are yet another major difference between America and their countries. Neither France nor Austria has any high school sports according to Adelaide D. and Wiebke R.. Even club sports are rare. Strasser also said there is a lack of high school sports in Austria. However, there are club teams. Ben S. likes to play soccer, or “futbol” as it is known in Austria, while Desplaces enjoys attending the DHS football games.

Food is another important topic of discussion. Despite many similarities between American, Austrian, French, and German food, Ben S. and Wiebke R. have some personal favorites. Ben S. enjoys Ring Dings, while Wiebke R. prefers chocolate chip muffins from Dunkin Donuts.

Sophomore Liz W. is currently hosting Adelaide D.. According to Liz W., Adelaide D. speaks incredible English. Adelaide D. has been taking English for 5 years. Therefore, they haven’t had much difficulty with communication.

When asked about the addition of Adelaide D. to her family Liz W. said, “She gets along so well with my family, she is definitely an actual part of it.”

Liz W. plans on keeping in touch with Adelaide D. through Facebook when she returns to France. On the exchange experience as whole, Mr. Massicotte said, “We learn as much from them as they learn from us.”

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