A Global Exchange


In the October issue of the newspaper we met Jannick Schmidt, a foreign exchange student from Germany. Since then, we have had several other students transfer in from all over the world.

Karina Pasholka is from Kupyansk, Ukraine. It was a dream come true for her to come to America, as it was something she had wanted to do for a long time. “It was my dream forever. I was taking part in competition for three years trying to pass and I didn’t succeed for two years. When I finally did I was like, ‘oh, yes!’”

This is her first year being in America, and she is really excited. Not only is she in her “favorite country”, but she has also earned a lead role in the school play. She will be playing the Fairy Godmother in next month’s production of Cinderella. Even though she has a Ukrainian accent, she was not going to let that prevent her from doing the play. “The first time speaking with Ms. Deichler, I thought I wouldn’t get it because of my accent; but, I wanted to be in the musical. So, I am!” This is not Karina’s first production, though; she has six years of acting experience under her belt from Ukraine.

Karina has not only befriended the people of Lisbon but also Nele Kloth, another exchange student from Germany, who arrived not long after Karina. They live together with the same host family. Karina stated, “The first time we met we were mean to each other. Something happened, though, and now we are very close, like sisters.”

Our fourth exchange student this year is Valerie Lin from Taiwan. Valerie, or Val, is staying with the Otto family and she is a sophomore.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. In a few months, all of the exchange students will go back to their home countries. “I feel comfortable here,” said Karina. “I miss my parents and my classmates. I wish I could see them for one day and then come back to live in America. I am going to miss it so much. I do not want to think of my departure date.”

That, I think, is the give and take of hosting exchange students. We get to know them, become friends with them and then miss them when they go back home.  But it also leaves both parties with a new understanding of the world and global friendships that could last a lifetime.