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PR through the eyes of an exchange student

PR's Foreign Exchange Students: (left to right) Lea Koelsch, Juliette Bolzer, Youming Pan and Tabea Zorn.

Foreign exchange programs allow students to live and study in another country.  These students get a chance to experience another country's culture and meet people they wouldn’t have had the chance to otherwise.  This year Porter Ridge has four exchange students: Tabea Zorn and Lea Koelsch from Germany, Juliette Bolzer from France, and Youming Pan from China.

When asked about their experience here at Porter Ridge, this is what they had to say:  “I really like Porter Ridge because in my opinion the students are much more open-minded than at schools in Germany,” Koelsch responded;  “This school is just awesome!” Pan exclaimed;  “The people are really nice and welcoming.  The teachers are really helpful and understanding,” Bolzer added; and Zorn agreed, “I am really enjoying my experience here at PR!”  

Being an exchange student can be costly for the student's family, but Koelsch says, “The experience is definitely worth the cost. You get to know so many new people, get another point a view and learn another language.”  

Schools in different countries can be a big change from what students are used to as well,  Bolzer commented, “American schools are generally very big compared to France. Mine is only 300 students.”  

Size is just one of the differences that the students have noticed. Zorn stated, “Through the whole school year we have at least more than 12 classes and most of them we cannot choose. Then we usually stay in one classroom and the teachers have to walk around which is really less stress and we don't have our hallways full of people after each period.”

Living and studying in a new country can be tough, but Pan summed it up,  “The experience is the best gift for me. I will remember this year forever.”

Written by: Aaron Hasty, 12th grade student and Regina Snelson, Media Specialist
Posted: May 07, 2015 by Regina Snelson

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