Every year Penn High School hosts exchange students. In the 2022-2023 school year Penn hosted thirteen students. The students were from Sweden, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Germany, and the Philippines. For ten months they lived away from home, and experienced American culture. We interviewed eleven exchange students to find out their feelings about the process.
Exchange students encounter lots of cultural differences. Things like food and clothes. A student from Italy states how it’s different from “students come to school in pajamas.” One of the Spanish students states that “Culvers is the best fast food they have here.” These cultural differences are all part of the students’ American experience.
Schools in the U.S. are vastly different from most other countries. The Filipino exchange student discussed how the technology in the U.S. is vastly different and helps with school work. A German exchange student states that “schools are much bigger in the U.S. and there is a lot more freedom in what classes you can take.”
While the exchange students are done with their year now, they got to experience a whole lifetime’s worth of culture and learning.