Being a Foreign Exchange Student

Christy Zhou

LAKE MICHIGAN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL -I am an exchange student from Henan, China. Though initially skeptical about coming to U.S., once I arrived, I realized that it wasn’t so bad.

I ended up coming to LMC because I had no choice. It is kind of funny, but that is the truth. My parents gave money to my agency, and they had a system: to match different students with different schools.

However, I had one chance to change my school, but if I had done so and changed schools, I wouldn’t have been able to change it back to the original one. I looked up LMC, and thought it is was good school.

I immediately approved of my school here because in China, it is much more competitive. School is from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, with a 3-hour lunch break in the afternoon.

Obviously, we don’t have any time for sports unlike here, where academics and sports are both important. I was able to become a cheerleader and fall in love with the sport and team.

Andrew Kim and Brian Ha, sophomores, are both Korean exchange students who came to LMC this year.  Ha thinks that the best of part of his experience so far is just being in the U.S..

Kim believes that there is a difference in education here versus Korea, but prefers the his education here.  Though I do agree with them, there is still a downside.

Unlike when I was in China, I do not have a lot of friends here, and it’s a little difficult for me to fit in with them since they have already known each other for so long. There is also the language barrier to consider.

Kim, though excited to come to the States, had his doubts.

“I was nervous and afraid about leaving my country and using a second language.”

Ha had similar feelings, saying that one of the hardest parts about being in America is not having too many friends.   Being an exchange student is not an easy thing.  We give up everything we have in our hometown, and go to a brand-new place.

However, we chose to be here and try our best to be as good as we can.