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Photo by Dana Pavek/WDC Schools This year's foreign exchange students at WDC High School are, from left: Marcela Henriques, Kyung Hun (Edwin) Kim, Natalia Martire, Kyra Heppner, Duyen Nguen, and Hye Yeon (Hailee) Lee.

Foreign exchange students share their thoughts on America and Wadena-Deer Creek

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Six foreign exchange students from around the world are getting a taste of school life at Wadena-Deer Creek High School this school year.

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Some of the students are attending WDC for a few weeks while others are experiencing school life at WDC for the entire school year.

According to Toni Kraska, WDC High School counselor, the idea behind hosting a foreign exchange program at WDC is to help to increase the foreign exchange student's understanding and tolerance of other cultures, as well as improving their language skills and broadening their social horizons. WDC students also benefit from learning about diversity as well as getting to know international students and their cultures.

WDC students from "The Friends of Rachel" -- Joey and Ricky Price, Mike Paavola, Jake Krause, Michaela Lehmkuhl, and Katarina Reece -- recently hosted a holiday luncheon for the foreign exchange students in the High School Media Center where they munched on an American favorite, pizza.

Marcela Henriques

San Paulo, Brazil

Who is your host family?

Butch and Katie Dykhoff

What is your favorite and least favorite aspect of life in this country?

My favorite is the food; least favorite is the cold.

What have you learned about the U.S. you didn't know before you arrived?

The cold weather!

How does school life compare at home and here at WDC?

We wear uniforms at my school in Brazil.

What are some of the differences between your home country and the U.S.?

School, the food and snow. Brazil is a tropical country. It's always warm. We don't have snow. "Feijoada" is a traditional Brazilian main course. It's a black bean stew with smoked meats that takes a full day to prepare.

What will you miss most when you return home?

The food, friends and my host family.

Plans after high school?

Become a chemical engineer.

Kyung Hun "Edwin" Kim

Su Won, South Korea

Who is your host family?

Jay and Stacy Miller

What is your favorite and least favorite aspect of life in this country?

I enjoy the people. My least favorite is homework.

What have you learned about the U.S. you didn't know before you arrived?

The history of this country.

How does school life compare at home and here at WDC?

We have a different schedule. We have a lot of subjects and different schedule every day. But here, the schedule is the same very day.

Have you had any funny language misunderstandings or things you found unusual about the U.S.?

Tartar sauce - very unusual.

What are some of the differences between your home country and the U.S.?

Here, I am living in a house, back in Korea, we live in an apartment.

What will you miss most when you return home?

Friends and my host family.

Plans after high school?

Go to college.

Natalia Martire

San Paulo, Brazil

Who is your host family?

Crystal Riddle

What is your favorite and least favorite aspect of life in this country?

Favorite: The people. Least favorite: The coldness.

What have you learned about the U.S. you didn't know before you arrived?

How cold it gets here.

How does school life compare at home and here at WDC?

School starts in February and we wear uniforms.

What are some of the differences between your home country and the U.S.?

Food and snow.

What will you miss most when you return home?

I'll miss my host family, friends I've made, school life, and the food.

Plans after high school?

Become a doctor.

Kyra Heppner

Bremerhaven, Germany

Who is your host family?

Candice Strandberg

How does school life compare at home and here at WDC?

We only stay in school from 8 a.m. until 1:20 p.m. and on two days until 3 p.m. We have more holidays and breaks.

What are some of the differences between your home country and the U.S.?

School, food, hospitals, no city bus or train, holidays.

What will you miss most when you return home?

I'll miss my host family, school and my American friends.

Plans after high school?

I don't know yet.

Duyen Nguyen

Canthocity, Vietnam

Who is your host family?

Chris and Jamie Houts

What is your favorite and least favorite aspect of life in this country?

I love all the things in this country!

What have you learned about the U.S. you didn't know before you arrived?

I've learned to be independent. American teen-agers are really independent of their parents.

How does school life compare at home and here at WDC?

My school life [in Vietnam] took me a lot of time. I usually did not have enough time to rest. I love American school.

Have you had any funny language misunderstandings or things you found unusual about the U.S.?

I think it would be "grape." I tried to say "grape" but it turned into "crap."

What are some of the differences between your home country and the U.S.?

Food. Most of American food is not spicy and they use a lot of cheese.

What will you miss most when you return home?

I'll miss my host family, school and my American friends.

Plans after high school?

I want to go to college which specializes in fashion design.

Hye Yeon (Hailee) Lee

Busan, Korea

Who is your host family?

Crystal Riddle

What is your favorite and least favorite aspect of life in this country?

Favorite aspects are the people, the foods and school. My least favorite is the weather!

What have you learned about the U.S. you didn't know before you arrived?

People do not speak English slowly!

How does school life compare at home and here at WDC?

American school is more fun and we don't have to study very, very hard. It gives a lot of chances to students to experience many things.

What are some of the differences between your home country and the U.S.?

Food and snow.

What will you miss most when you return home?

The language, the diversity of people and foods.

Plans after high school?

I plan to attend a Korean university.

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