In the Life of a Foreign Exchange Student


Joshua Rhymer, Staff Writer

Meet freshman Sophia Sajantila and junior Maria Winkelmeier.  They are foreign exchange students from Europe.  Sakjantila is from Finland, and Winkelmeier is from Germany.  The view of the school from a foreign exchange student is an interesting one, and one that not many people hear about.

These foreign exchange students have noted how different American schools are from theirs back home.

“The schools are much bigger here, and there is more homework.  [In Finland] our classes stay together, and the schools have kids from first grade to twelfth grade,” Sajantila said.

Despite these differences, they have not had too much much trouble adjusting to school in America.

“I haven’t really had to make too many changes, except the school is very cold,” Winkelmeier said.

A great thing about going to another country is experiencing the country’s unique culture.  Unlike Europe, where people are able to walk everywhere, America is more spread out.

“I love Keller.  The parks and playgrounds [create] a nice environment, but everything is so far away,” Sajantila said.

When a foreign exchange student come to America, they stay with a host family.  The host family provides a home for the student, and shows them what life is like here.

“[My] host family is great, they are so nice,” Winkelmeier said.

Even though they have only been living here a couple of months they said Keller is peaceful and fun, even though everything is spread out.

“We like it here.”