So last week the local newspaper Tri-county news published an article at June 7th, written byJean Doran Matua. So for all the family and friends back home who don’t have Facebook or haven’t seen it yet. The link to the article is at the bottom.
A school year can seem long and painful, or it can go by in a flash. So much depends on your perspective, and on your attitude.
Four of the students who walked through graduation will probably agree that this past year went by pretty quickly. (Except maybe the winter.) Four exchange students from Europe completed a year’s study at Kimball Area High School last week.
Lea Schmidt is from Seeheim-Jugenheim in southeastern Germany. Her host parents are Tracy and Paul Hanan.
Linn Habberstad is from Jönköping, Sweden. Her host parents are Tom and Karla Ehlinger.
Emma Gobes is from Zeist in the middle of the Netherlands. Her host parents are Jo and Rod Olson.
Ruben Overdevest is from Amsterdam, Netherlands. His host dad is Zach Boser, a.k.a. Mr. Boser the science teacher.
All agreed that winter is very cold here. And all four students missed their friends and families from home. They had a few other interesting observations, too.
They love the openness of people here in Minnesota. We’re outgoing and have lots of activities, whether it’s just hanging out, enjoying bonfires, eating out, or going to the movies. Emma noted that people here just do what they want to, like shooting guns. Minnesota people are nice. Ruben also liked that all the sports are through the schools (rather than special clubs not affiliated with schools as is the case in most of Europe).
There are a few things they don’t like: exchange students aren’t allowed to drive, and there’s no public transportation here. You can’t go anywhere without a car, and it’s sometimes uncomfortable always having to ask for a ride from others. Emma also noted that here fast food is cheap, but healthy food is expensive, the opposite of how it should be.
Foreign exchange students at KAHS for the 2016-17 school year were, from left, Lea Schmidt from Germany, Linn Habberstad from Sweden, Emma Gobes and Ruben Overdevest both from the Netherlands. Staff photo by Jean Doran Matua.
Surprises await all exchange students, no matter how much they prepare for a year abroad. Lea was surprised at how our teachers are so open. Ruben is amazed at how kids younger than he can drive, but he can’t.
Besides the obvious – family and friends – there are a few things they missed during their year here. All four of them missed their bicycles, and the ability to get wherever you want by bicycle. And it’s inevitable that they will miss the food from home, like European chocolate (not waxy like American chocolate), tappas, and Swedish pizza (that was Linn’s contribution, and something we’ll have to investigate further). They noted, though, that Chinese food is better here than at home.
Lea says she loves her host parents (and sibling too), and will miss them. She is here for a few more weeks.
Linn says the Ehlingers became a second family to her, and that her sister Hannah is now also her best friend. She loves the Ehlingers, and also her host grandparents (Ron and Diane Knaus).
Emma wants to thank her host parents for the wonderful year. She hopes to see them one day in the Netherlands.
Ruben really appreciates his host dad, saying that he really felt like a dad to him.
This was Emma’s third graduation from high school! She’s 18 and she’s finally done with high school. Ruben is done as well. Both Lea and Linn will have another two years of high school once they return home.
Being an exchange student can be a scary experience, going to live for a year with a new family in a new country. Thanks to all four host families, this was a great year for these four students. I’ll bet (a Swedish pizza) that their host families were enriched this year too.
I hope you’ll consider hosting an exchange student; it can be for a few weeks up to a full year. Your lives won’t be the same.
The source is: http://kimballarea.com/schoolsx/kimball-schools/64742-kahs-bids-farewell-to-four-exchange-students
That plan I had to write a blogpost twice per month? Yeahh… Make that one blogpost for every 2 months…oops. Oh well. Because I don’t want to describe every detail of the last 2 months I made a list with the most important things of the last 2 months! So let’s start where I ended last time.
One of the “bigger” things happend on April 6th I had a track & field meet at Litchfield. And while we were warming up (for throwing discuss) I got hit by a discuss in the head. Sooo yeahh…. There was a lot of blood and they had to call to ambulance because I needed stitches and nobody wanted to drive me because of liability. And I ended up sitting on a chair with a towel to stop the bleeding until the ambulance came. Lol. So now I can cross an ambulance ride and a visit to the hospital off my bucket list (although it was never on there…). Ohh and the police was there also haha. I ended up with 3 staples in my head. Don’t worry it is completely healed by now but I will always have a scar on my head, but at least it’s not in my forehead but on the side. I did not got a concussion or something else, only a medical bill of $1200 for the 5 minute ambulance ride. (don’t worry, I got insurance). But also a good thing happened that day! One of our labs got puppies! They are so cute! But it was not something I was planning on but at least I will always have a memory of America on my head with me :p.
And while I had a huge headache, on April 8th, I had speech sections. Only the top 3 from a category would go to State (from the 32). And I didn’t made it, but I think I ended up 11th or 12th what is not terrible if you think of the circumstances. Speech is over now :’(. I miss it, it was one of the best experiences and I could recommend everybody to do it if the school offers it.
With choir we had the large group contest on April 9th. One of the songs we did was Festival Sanctus and In the name of music. We got State Superior! For the concert we had to wear ugly blue gowns with a golden thing over it. Our school colors…woooh.
On April 13th I went to the state capital (St. Paul, not Minneapolis) with the juniors. We visit some monuments and we got a tour through the state capital building where the House of Representatives is. Fun Fact: one of my hostmoms cousins, Tony Jurgens, is one of the members in the House of Representatives. So he gave us a tour through parts of the building where you could only come if you had somebody with you from the House of Rep. That was really cool! Also funny that an exchange student got the connections :p.
From April 16th to April 17th we went to South Dakota for Easter! I helped hiding the eggs for the little kids which was fun to do. It was a relax weekend with family and good food :p. On our way to South Dakota we had a little kitten with us to give to the mother of my hostmom. She is so cute but she is also a little brat :p.
And the day after we came back from south Dakota was also the day that my parents and 2 younger brothers came to visit me! They were here from April 18th to April 24th. It was really nice to see them again. On Wednesday we did some community service with the senior class and afterwards I gave my family a tour around the school. That Thursday my brothers went to school with me for a few hours and after that we visit my coordinator and the Mall of America! That Friday we went to Duluth until Sunday. I really liked Duluth and we were really lucky with the weather. Sunday night my hostdad cooked a dinner for everyone. And that night it was already time to say goodbye but not before I already gave them a suitcase filled with stuff to bring home. I’m only allowed to bring one suitcase on the coast to coast trip, so it’s was nice that I gave some of the heavier stuff. It was really nice to show my family around and do stuff with them. I don’t really miss them, I don’t have homesickness, but it was nice to give them a hug again and talk face to face with them. Oh and also really nice, my mom brought some special scissors to get my staples out! This saved me some money on the medical bill :).
Speaking of the coast to coast. Did I already mention it that the day that I leave changed? Instead of June 8th, I will leave my hostfamily on June 15th. That also means that instead of June 29th I will come home on July 6th! This means that I’m able to celebrate 4th of July in ‘MERICA! Pretty awesome if I may say so.
On April 28th we went with the whole senior class + a few extra people to the theater to see MacBeth! This was pretty cool only a lot of people died but I guess that always happens in Shakespear plays, lol.
So that was pretty much April. I probably forget tons of things, but this is just a short summary of everything that happened the past 2 months. Next up:
May 3rd was a pretty fun but full day. We left school in the morning for the art competition. I participate in the category Digital Photography and I got State superior! Pretty cool! When I come back I should were all the medals I got this year, lol, this was only my third one :p. When we got back that afternoon we left with the senior class to watch a Twin game (baseball)! This was super fun! And because I understand most of the rules I could follow everything pretty good.
I went to the movie with friends on May 5th. To be more exact, Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I have never seen the first movie. So I went to a friend’s house to watch it. But instead of first watching the movie, we went to family. The sister of my friend went Turkey hunting and while they were gone I drove a 4-wheeler (AWESOMEEEE) and I shot a bow (and I’m not that bad!). So after that we went back and I started watching the movie and that evening we watch it in the movie theater and I really liked it!
And May 6th was PROM DAY! A friend picked me up and we prepared for prom together. With a bunch of people we took pictures in the park and around 7ish we went to school to watch the grand march (a thing were people can show off their dresses). And after that we went to Powder ridge where the dance was. Conclusion: the Macarena works on almost every song, so if you are out of dance moves.. You know what to do. Prom itself was until 11pm (while dances back home would just begin at this time, lol). And from 12 pm to 4 am we had POST prom. This was at school and there we all kind of activities you could do. And at the end everybody won a price and I got a Fitbit! Pretty nice. Some of the other prices you could win: Televisions, laptops, money, polaroid camera and a kayak. I spend the night at a friend’s house and by the time we felt asleep it was already getting light out.
On May 13th I went canoeing with a bunch of friends. It was a super nice and warm day so perfect to go canoeing. Fun Fact, I always have problems with pronouncing the word canoeing so now I just say it in Dutch (kanoën). We also went on a swing rope where I cut open my leg and hand…oops.
With choir we went to Chanhassen Dinner theater on May 17th to watch Grease! Chanhassen is a place where you first eat and then watch a musical. I really enjoyed it! And I didn’t have to pay for it because I did a fundraiser earlier that year that covered it :).
From May 19th to May 21st my hostmom and I went to Iowa for the Dutch tulip festival. The weather was sh*t, but the festival itself was fun! They had a Dutch bakery and some stores where you could buy Dutch souvenirs. And at the end of the day there was a parade! That was super fun to watch because everything was so familiar. It was a bit Americanized though. And with that I mean that everything was so big. You saw Dutch flags every were and everything was big. And the only few days that you will see housed with flags outside it during national holidays like Kingsday.
On May 23rd we went to a bingo in a bar in Clearwater. I enjoyed plaining it and even better…I won one game! I won $99! The jackpot was $1000. But I’m pretty happy with my 99 bugs :p
And now it is almost the end of May… I got about 3 weeks left in Minnesota and I already know that I will miss it :’(. I got my yearbook from Holdingford a week back and this week I’ll get my yearbook from Kimball :). And I also got my letterman jacket last week! AAAHHH. I’m so happy with it! It is a thing you always see in movies and now I got one, not that anyone in Kimball wears one, but I don’t really care lol. Next week is graduation and school will be over then.
I hope to write one more time before I leave Minnesota and I definitely will write a blogpost about my coast to coast trip (or I make a short video…maybe…). Anyways, have a good day/night, depending on when you read this. If you have any question after reading all this, feel free to leave a comment or send me a email!