Red Mountain is proud to welcome nine new exchange students this year from around the world. From places like Spain all the way to Japan, this year’s exchange students are excited and ready to join the Mountain Lion family.
“I really like it here,” senior and Netherland native Izabel van der Ploeg said. “The weather was one of the biggest differences because it is not what I was entirely expecting or used to. But from what I have experienced, Arizona is a beautiful state.”
The foreign exchange students are all settling into what can be a rough transition, considering the fact that they don’t know anyone here and they are moving in with strangers. Despite this, the exchange students seem to be adapting well to their new families.
“So far it has been good because the food is delicious and my exchange family is extremely kind,” sophomore and Japanese exchange student Kuma Tamaoka said. “When I first got here I missed my friends and family back home but now I am better and I love the people here.”
As they adjust to the social and living surroundings, the new students also have to learn to adjust to the new teaching styles and school.
“In Denmark, we do not call our teachers Mr. and Mrs. we just call them by their first name,” sophomore and Denmark exchange student Elias Modest said. “For us, the teachers walk from class to class and the students all stay inside the same classroom the whole day.”
There are many differences with education for the exchange students. Although there are certain things that may take them a while to adjust to, the exchange students really enjoy all of the perks that come along with transferring to Red Mountain.
“The teachers here are more open to bonding with their students,” van der Ploeg said. “Not that bonds are a bad thing in my country, but here there is a different type of connection between the teachers and their students.”
Not only do teachers here have a more one on one connection with students, but there are also many advantages to our school system that the exchange students appreciate.
“If I could take one thing back to the Netherlands it would be the classes because here students have more options on what they learn,” van der Ploeg said. “There are other electives here and not just the main required subjects. You can learn something extra here instead of always having to learn the basic subjects.”
Although the exchange students are here to learn from diverse cultures and schools, they are also teaching students something new every day. For more information on the exchange program, visit Mr. Wasilewski in the Advisement office.
(Featured Photo Courtesy of Yearbook)