Two students are spending their school year as foreign exchange students at Fairview High School, Malvina from France and Anna from Austria.
We sat down with them recently to see how they have been enjoying their experience thus far.
Hometown: The South of France
How are you enjoying life at FHS? I really, really enjoy being an exchange student here. It’s just amazing. I’m kind of like in a dream. It’s incredible.
What’s the biggest difference you have experienced? In France, everybody goes to the market every day to get cakes or bread. Here, most people go like to grocery store once a week. We eat different kinds of food, never fast food, always fresh food.
What are you hoping to experience during your time in the US: I’m going to Florida with my host family, and Boston, New York and Washington.
How are your studies different? I prefer studies here. I think teachers understand the student better, and how they feel. You can choose more what you’re interested in. In France, no, everything is mandatory. Here you can enjoy photography or art but in France you cannot, it’s selected for you. I think it’s great. I’ve met some people who are doing amazing things with video and arts. I think it’s too bad in France we don’t encourage to do as much with arts.
What’s Next For You After high school? I hope to go to college in Paris. I would like to be a collegiate exchange student, maybe in America or South America. I would like to be a lawyer. Maybe an international lawyer.
You’ve had a good experience so far? My host family is amazing. They are great people.
Hometown: Tyrol, Austria
What Do You Like Most About Living in the U.S.: Definitely the people. They are so much nicer and open to everything.
What are you looking forward to? What have you done? I’ve been to Florida with my host family, and we are going again.
What Do You Miss from Home? The mountains. I didn’t think I would miss it that much. My family of course, especially my sisters.
What do you find the most different here? I find Americans eat slower. If you’re in Austria you usually think of Americans as eating a lot and fast, but Americans eat really slow!
What did you enjoy about the holiday season here? There is one street here, Seabury, that I find so cool. It’s all out. We don’t see that in Austria – some people have like one string of lights. At Christmastime it was really fun for me. There were so many family members coming over and spent a lot of time together and it was really fun.
How are studies different? In Austria can’t decide your classes, it’s nice here you can choose.
What do you hope to do after college: I want to get a job where I can travel a lot. That’s important to me. Or maybe just travel for a year. I always thought I’d live somewhere else. Now I’m here I really miss Austria. I don’t know if I could like somewhere else forever. Maybe somewhere else in Europe.
If you and your family are interested in hosting a foreign exchange student, please view this brochure of students who are looking to live in this area. Contact information is included on the flyer.
Sandy Arancibia, Fairview High School Spanish teacher and AFS Intercultural Programs liaison and a former exchange host and student, encourages families to consider hosting a foregin student. “It is such an incredible experience and it is so amazing to get to see our own culture through the eyes of someone new to it,” she said.