This year, we have three foreign exchange students from some very different countries. We have two girls and one boy, a change from what Northern Bedford usually takes in. The generosity of the residents of the Northern Bedford County school district was evident when it came time for these students to be assigned a home. Our school was lucky to receive Oana, Manuela, and Eirik to spend the year with us and learn from us.
Erik Kavli is a senior, joining us from Norway. His host family is Mark and Diane Musselman; he has two host brothers Kyle and Bailey Musselman. He says his host family is very nice and he’s really glad that they wanted him as a host kid. He’s very involved in sports; he currently plays Varsity football and is planning on playing indoor soccer in the winter as well as AYSO soccer in the spring. He claims that the kinds of American food he enjoys are “everything because it’s similar to Norwegian food.”
His plans for the year are to go on the senior trip, and to go camping with his host family. Erik feels that America is a lot different from his home country of Norway. A few things that are different are the schools, sports throughout school, fast food, prices and clothing. When asked if English was a hard language to learn he said, “Not really, I have learned English since 2nd grade, so I have been learning and speaking English for ten years.”
Another foreign exchange student visiting us all the way from Brazil is Manuela Meurer. She’s a junior and she’s living with Kelly and Stephanie Over in Woodbury. Manuela says, “My host family is really nice, we do a lot of things together. I have 3 sisters and one brother, all younger than me.” What she loves about America is the cheap American clothes, the NBC football games, and pretzels.
She isn’t involved in any sports at Northern Bedford right now, but she’s been learning ballet and she’s been taking piano lessons. When she’s back home in Brazil, she enjoys going out with her friends, going to parties, going to the theatre and bowling. She does things that are very similar to an American teenager’s night out.
Manuela’s favorite American foods are pretzels, doughnuts and pancakes. When asked about differences between Brazil and America she replied, “There’s a lot! I live in a city with 250,000 people; my school had 2,000 students in the high school. In Brazil there aren’t as many fast foods as here and everything is cheaper here. We don’t have football and baseball.” She also says that English was a harder language to learn than her foreign language, but she has been taught English since she was a kid, so it wasn’t so hard.
The third foreign exchange student at Northern Bedford is Oana Chariton who joins us all the way from Romania. She, like Manuela, is also a junior who is living with Mark and Deb Guyer of New Enterprise. She isn’t involved in any kinds of sports here at school, but she is in Auto Club. When asked about differences between her school in Romania and the school here in our small town she said, “Yes, school is totally different. In Romania you can’t choose what subjects you want to take. You are given the schedule and you have to follow it and the classes are a lot easier here.”
Oana has three host brothers here at Northern Bedford also, senior Cody Guyer, junior Kyle Guyer and 8th grader Collin Guyer. When asked about what her host family is like she responded, “I like them! They’re very kind and they really make me feel like I’m part of the family. It’s different though, because here I have three brothers and in Romania I don’t have any siblings.” One of Oana’s favorite things about America is the school. She also enjoys sweets; her favorite American foods are doughnuts, brownies and Oreos. When it comes to learning English, like Erik and Manuela, Oana has been learning English since she was in grade school, so she knew how to speak our language when she came here to America.
Foreign exchange students come every year and we always welcome them with open arms. The crew this year is talented, smart and unique. I think I speak for the entire school in saying, “Welcome to America!”