Nine international exchange students call McNary home
November 3, 2018 By:MHS Piper
By Noha Escobar
This year, a total of nine foreign exchange students have come to experience what being a student at McNary high school is like. Many students said they came to McNary because they wanted to get out of their comfort zone.
One student came to the United States with many goals. Elsy Dhamayanti from Indonesia wants to have more experiences, learn about herself, and to improve her English skills. “I just want to introduce myself as an ambassador of my country in a simple way,¨ she said.
“I want American students to know about Japanese culture,” said Mimi Ikawa, who came here from Japan.
Many students agreed that McNary has a different environment than that of what they’re used to. Each foreign exchange student saw a variety of things that were different to what they normally see and experienced in their classes with the students at McNary high school.
Pichayanin Chanpromrach, from Thailand, said, “In my country, we just sit in the class and we wait for the teacher to come and teach us, but here we need to walk around to get to our class.”
When asked how they are adjusting to McNary and America in general, all of the students responded positively. “The education system is flexible and more comfortable,¨ Dhamayanti said.
“Good, it’s cool. It’s very different in Belgium. It’s very interesting,” said Camille Lequeux.
Many of the exchange students were involved in music and sports.“I like listening music and singing,” said Lequeux, who is also involved in scouting in Belgium.
Like Lequeux, Dhamayanti and Paul Kang also like to sing.
In addition to the vocal talent, Dhamayanti said, “I like playing guitar, singing…and I like dancing too, especially my traditional dance from Indonesia.”
Ikawa said she likes reading books. “But it’s difficult to read books in English, so I always read in Japanese,” Ikawa said.
Kang said he likes listening to music and singing along to it. “I’m playing soccer in McNary…my favorite sport. I’m good at badminton,” Kang said.
The students were very shocked with the difference in American culture versus their own culture. “Everything is like very big, like the stores are huge…the portions in the restaurants are very big,” Lequeux said.
“Everyone, when we’re walking on the street…they are so nice…say hi,” Chanpromrach said.
“Everything is bigger from cars to the supermarket. The school, everything is bigger,” Pietro Forgia said.
Ikawa said she was shocked about how much coffee students brought to school on a daily basis.
“I’m back,” is the first thing Cha Jiyoung will say when she gets home.
Ikawa, Dhamayanti , Kang, and Forgia said that their school and host family are the best.
“Just come up to me, and I will be your friend!” Elsy said.