• Last modified 2650 days ago (April 19, 2012)


Exchange students at Centre make friends

One experiences a Kansas tornado

Staff writer

According to the five exchange students at Centre High School this year, making new friends was a positive experience.

They all said they have enjoyed going to school at Centre and participating in school activities. They were appreciative of their host families. Several said they viewed buffalo close up, and two took trips to places like Chicago, Ill., San Diego, Calif., and Washington, D.C.

Although making new friends was a positive experience, they all agreed it also was one of the most difficult things to do.

Jasmin Abdelghany, a sophomore from Germany, said at first nobody knows you and they don’t relate to you. Even though you know English, it is difficult to communicate.

“You are intimidated to speak,” she said. “You think it’s better to say nothing than to make a mistake.”

Anastasiya Lesnikova, a junior from Russia, agreed. She said the American accent was different, making it difficult for her to understand others and express herself.

“We can be proud of ourselves when we get friends,” Jasmin said.

“Sam” Dhanabhat Medhavikul, a junior from Thailand, said his biggest drawback was not being able to drive a vehicle, one of the things foreign exchange students are not allowed to do.

Michal Baumgartner, a junior from Slovakia, said he found it difficult to speak English all day long. In Slovakia, he used English two or three hours a day in classes.

“Bessie” Yizhou Yang, a senior from China, said living in a different culture with different family rules was challenging. She is an only child and had to adjust to living with a “brother.”

Four of them will return home after the school year. Jasmin will take along the story of how she survived a Kansas tornado. She was with her host parents, Phil and Jamie Peterson of Burdick, at the Darren Makovec home east of Lost Springs Saturday when it was hit.

Bessie will graduate with the class of 2012 and plans to pursue higher studies at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, Calif.

Other host parents were James and Stacy McIntyre and George and Shirley Miller, both of Burdick; and Duane and Karen Carlson of Lincolnville.

Last modified April 19, 2012