WDC welcomes 16 foreign-exchange students from 8 countries
Wadena-Deer Creek High School recently welcomed 16 foreign-exchange students from eight countries around the globe. They come from Australia, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and many other countries and WDC is excited to be hosting these students who bring a mix of diversity and culture to its school community.
The foreign-exchange students are staying with families around the school district. Each student is sponsored through an international organization, such as Nacel Open Door, International Student Exchange (ISE), and Aspect Foundation Student Exchange. They are listed here with their host family:
• Lola Jean Gilroy (Australia), Taggart family
• Ana Clara Arana Camis (Brazil), Perrella family
• Agnes Pinneiro E. Silva (Brazil), Stewart family
• Myriam Montero Bellido (Spain), Schroeder family
• Yin Zhang (China), Schroeder family
• Jingrui Zhang (China), Seibert family
• Mara Zschommier (Germany), Grieme family
• Ru-Chun Lai (Taiwan), Havnes family
• Gonzalo Giner (Spain), Dunker family
• Miguel Lopez Perez (Spain), Hanson family
• Javier Parreno Mota (Spain), Riddle family
• Nora Burlon (Germany), Wood family
• Coraline Donnay (Belgium), Taggart family
• Vaclav Kalina (Czech Republic), Bullock family
• Guillherme Vallone Takakuwa (Brazil), Riddle family
• Natalie Schween (Germany), Havnes family
At a Welcome-to-WDC luncheon held Sept. 11, foreign-exchange students munched on American favorites -- pizza and pop -- and listened to Student Council and Friends of Rachel (Anti-Bullying) Club students talk about school life at WDC and one of the school's most anticipated event, Homecoming Week. WDC High School Counselor Toni Kraska, WDC Middle/High School Principal Tyler Church and Superintendent Lee Westrum were also on hand for the luncheon.
Despite the little surprises that come along with experiencing an American school, such as school lunch and a casual dress code, the foreign-exchange students are excited for the upcoming school year, when they will have the opportunity to meet new people, polish their English fluency and learn about the United States, Minnesota and WDC.
WDC Principal Church offered the foreign-exchange students some advice at the luncheon. He encouraged the students to get involved during their time here at WDC. “Plan to be involved in an activity, whether it’s choir, band, theater or a sport, it’s an excellent way to meet people and make those close connections,” he told students.
According to Kraska, hosting a foreign-exchange program at WDC also helps to increase the foreign-exchange student's understanding of our culture, as well as improving their language skills. “WDC students also benefit from learning about diversity, as well as getting to know international students and their cultures. It broadens their social horizons too,” said Kraska.
Over the next several weeks, WDC will be featuring each foreign-exchange student in an article, so as to welcome them to the school and the community.