DHS has 1263 students within its walls. Among those, only three are foreign exchange students.
Foreign exchange was created to expose youth to new places, including these places cultures, traditions, and people. For example, we may have a certain food, tradition, or manner here in America or Michigan that another country does not, or vice versa. Aurora Foresi, an eleventh grader from Italy who is only staying one semester, appreciates the new things about America.
“Here you have a great school spirit,” Foresi says. “You have a lot of things about school sports and activities. In Italy, it’s not that much. We just go to school and get out of school, there’s not that big of a spirit.” She also points out how Dow High students have been very welcoming to her. Sophomore Joao Arenhart from Brazil agrees, saying that the students and teachers here are very nice.
Both students, however, had hoped to go somewhere other than Michigan. “I just applied for the USA,” Foresi says.“I was hoping for somewhere warmer, like California or Florida, but Michigan’s okay.”
Arenhart’s first choices, on the other hand, were Germany and Canada. “My second choice was Canada, I got Canada, but then I got transferred,” says Arenhart. Arenhart has had three host families in the time he has been a foreign exchange student.
The students have already been to other parts of America. “I’ve been to New York, I’ve been to Miami in the past with my family,” Foresi said. “With my ‘here’ family I’ve been to Chicago, Detroit.” Arenhart says he has also visited New York. Both say they loved Times Square and hope to visit again.
There are some parts of the culture here they don’t particularly like. Says Arenhart, “Milk. Everybody drinks milk, it sucks. Like milk with whatever. Usually I drink water. It was like a shock for me.”
However, though there’s the sparkle of going to new places, there’s always the drawback of leaving home. “I miss my friends, I miss my family and my boyfriend,” says Foresi. “I miss my normal life.” Arenhart, in turn, says he misses his dogs the most. “I have five,” he says.
By: Madeleine J Jones