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Foreign Faces: Case Study

Dagen Lusis

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For Amelie Schulte, this year at Eisenhower will be one to remember, as it is almost 5,000 miles away from her home . Amelie is a foreign exchange student that is part of the AFS Intercultural Program. New Berlin Eisenhower is a long way from Northern Germany, where Amelie calls home. Not only is it a tremendous distance, but she will be studying here at IKE for two semesters, as she enjoys many aspects of American school, such as prom, graduation, homecoming, and sports. Amelie will return back to her hometown of Osnabrück in July, where her excited family will finally get to see here after ten long months.

After arriving on August 10th, Amelie and her host family have enjoyed many aspects of American culture, such as State Fair, Six Flags, Halloween, and Devils Lake. When asked about her experiences so far, she said “It is very different from Germany, but it is so cool learning about culture in America. I also have the best host family that I could ever ask for.”

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Amelie is also very thankful for the AFS Program as well, “They helped cover everything we needed to know, and I felt very good about joining my new family.” There were about 40 kids from around the world that arrived in Wisconsin, including students from Chile, Italy, China, Argentina, and many more. The students spent the night on the UW-Parkside campus, where they learned about America, traditions, common behaviors, and most importantly, culture shock. Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone who is suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture. Many people never realize how difficult it is to move to a completely different continent. “It was very hard at first, I can see why they call it a shock,” explained Amelie, “but I’m so happy to be here and I feel more comfortable each day.”

Classes were a hard decision for Amelie to choose from, because there are dozens more options in America than her school in Osnabrück. In Germany, there is a scarce amount of recreational classes compared to America, as most occur outside of school. “It was so surprising how many are classes there were to choose from,” stated Amelie, “which is why I couldn’t choose just one.”

Amelie has many passions, but one of her favorite activities is volleyball. In fact, Amelie just finished a successful season here on the JV volleyball team, just ONE WEEK after arriving in America. “It was scary joining a team that I’ve never been on, but I also met some very nice people on the team.” As the season progressed, Amelie received lots of playing time, where she was able to help her team win an abundance of matches.

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It is important for AFS students to have a safe, comfortable place to live, and Amelie believes that her host family was the perfect choice. Her host-sister Maya commented, “Amelie fits right into our family. We all love her so much.” It is incredible that both sides of the family have had positive experiences regarding their new experiences. The host family also hopes that students here at Eisenhower feel inspired to host an AFS student, because it is a fantastic experience that will last a lifetime.

 

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For more information about AFS and how to apply or host a student, visit www.afs.org

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The student news site of New Berlin Eisenhower
Foreign Faces: Case Study