Exchange Students Celebrate American-style Holiday Season


Laney Newnam, Reporter

Being a foreign exchange student implies having to adjust to an abundance of differences. Over the past few months, the exchange students at our school have experienced the free trial of the American lifestyle.

The holiday break was an opportunity to introduce traditions they never had with their families back home, such as new hobbies and snow days that they didn’t expect.

And now with moving into the second semester, these students have a lot to look forward to. 

Over the winter break, some students were surprised with the holiday traditions in America.

“In Ukraine for Christmas, we were not making gifts for each other.  I really like it here because making presents is such a big culture here. You’re trying to investigate what everybody in the family likes, what could be a good gift and you wrap them all and it’s so nice,” Vlad Pavlenko said.

Arriving in America has given foreign exchange students the opportunity to discover different hobbies and activities they are interested in.

“I think I like theater because before I came here I would never think about theater as something I could do. I mean there are lots of possibilities to learn more about theater,” Pavlenko said.

The students reflect on some of their host families traditions that made this holiday season extra special.

“They also do movie nights on Fridays that I always look forward to,” Inge Lenuda Said. 

Although being overseas for the holidays can be exciting, it wasn’t easy for students to spend the holidays away from home.

“I miss my family, so I wish I could have seen them over break,” Jeonga Lee said.

This year, our school had two days off due to snow, and some foreign exchange students decided to take advantage of their day off.

“I went sledding in the snow and spent time with my host family’s children,”  Lenuda said. 

As the first semester comes to an end, the foreign exchange students look back at some of their favorite American high school events.

“I really enjoyed going to football games and all school related sports events,” Lorenzo Morelli said.