2016-2017 Foreign exchange students

Destiny Harvel, Feature Reporter

Jonathan Heffels is an exchange student from Germany this year. He is staying with a family from Laporte for the entire year and leaves at the beginning of July, 2017. Heffels got the opportunity to come to the United States with an organization called Treff Sprachreisen (language vacations).

“The difference between America and Germany is amazing. The school, the people, and the food is all very different. My favorite part about America is how open and friendly the people are,” said Heffels, “I really like English as well so I have been studying it for about nine years. German is kind of a boring language.”

Heffels says he misses his friends and family back home and public transportation, but when he leaves he will miss his host family, the friends he has made, and speaking English regularly.

Paula Jimenez arrived here from Spain in August and is staying with junior, Reina Galvan. After nine years of studying English, she decided to come to America.

To be able to come she had to take a test to see what level of English she was at then had to write a letter about herself explaining who she is. Jimenez then attached pictures so that they could know what she looked like when she got to America.

“So far, I have had a good time. I have met a lot of people and made a lot of friends and I have gotten to go to football and soccer games,” said Jimenez.

Her favorite part about America so far are the foods, sports, and how nice the people are that she has met. These are also the things she will miss when she leaves after school ends in May. “It has been fun here but I do miss my friends and family. I also miss our food.”

Hanna Hastedt is from Germany and has been studying English for eight years. She is staying with Freshman, Julianna Schooley. She arrived at the beginning of September and leaves at the end of the school year in June.

“It was a long process to come here,” said Hastedt, “I had to sign up at an organization, get all my shots, then I had to go to the embassy to get my visa and more papers had to be filled out.”

“The beach is pretty and I like going shopping here.” She does miss her friends and family back home though.“I am really happy that I am here for a year. I will miss the beach and my host family. The school spirit, and the football games too. I am going to miss America in general, and Mexican food. It is crazy how patriotic the Americans are too,” said Hastedt.

Flora Mitterer is an exchange student from Vienna, Austria and has been studying English for five years. This year she is staying with sophomore, Bailee Laux. She is also playing on the Lady Wolves Soccer team this year.

“It has been good so here so far. I have made a lot of friends, especially on the soccer team,” said Mitterer.

“I applied for an exchange year because I wanted to experience an American high school. There were a lot of different organizations but I liked “Solo” the best,” said Mitterer about the exchange.

Mitterer arrived in New York on August 5, 2016 and Michigan City on August 9, 2016.
She leaves on her birthday, January 3, 2017 and she says when she does that she will miss all the friends that she has made here, the school, sports, and speaking English all the time.

Isabel Chaves is from Brasil and speaks Portuguese as her first langauge. She said that she mainly would watch tv shows but it was not until the beginning of this year that she really started to study Englsih.

Chaves was able to come to America through an agency called ACES. She had to fill out a lot of paperwork and then take a test so that they could figure out what skill level she was in English.

She got here in August and leaves next June. Chaves said, “I love my home, but it is not always the safest place. There is no real public school so I have to go to a private school and I have a driver to get there. I love that here, it is a much safer environment for kids.”

She misses her family and her two dogs back home, but says that when she goes home she will miss her host family and new friends.

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