Foreign exchange students reflect on school at West

Malea Cuevas, Staff Writer

Today is National Foreign Exchange Student Day and what better chance to hear from Greeley West’s two foreign exchange stuents.  The exchange program continues to flood the school with diversity, and culturally enrich the community surrounding it.

With the expansion of West’s community, junior, Simone Culini of Rome, Italy, who is part of the program, states that the new school is “very different” and that “some things are better, while the academics remain different.”

Another exchange student, junior, Arild Karsman of Stockholm, Sweden, says that, “I’m doing this for fun and to see a different culture, less so for the education.” 

As exchange students join the school, they’ve had different experiences. Culini has made many friends, and had a welcoming experience saying, “All of the friends I’ve made are very warm and understanding people.”

Although Culini has made many, Karsman says that it’s more, “50/50 in terms of niceness.”

Schooling is different for many in different countries. In Culini’s main home of Rome, Italy, he “doesn’t get to pick classes, and there is no lunch break for students. The days are also shorter than these school days.”

For Karsman, of Stockholm, Sweden “the school is very different, and I find the school system different, yet easier to navigate than the one I have at home.” 

Schooling is not the only difference, though, Karsman says that he, “enjoys this experience even better than the one at home, and doesn’t miss home much,” as it is, “now his new normal.”

While Karsman isn’t homesick, Culini, “misses being with friends and spending time in the city with her parents.” He also stated that, “he misses the feeling of home, and the closeness of her family.”

With the experience of Foreign Exchange, much comes to mind. “Learning more about yourself and being independent and responsible for myself is a big part of the experience,” said Culini. 

All together, the exchange program provides students at Greeley West with the opportunity to learn more about individuals from far away places. Talking with these students and learning about how they experience school, family, and friends helps the West community grow.