Ready, set, go! You are now on an airplane traveling to a place you have never been before. A new language, culture, and ethnicity. You are not familiar with the way this place functions, nor are you completely comfortable with it. But, hey, what’s life without a little adventure, right?
The foreign exchange programs are making a come back and are now more popular than ever. Over the years, John Glenn has had several foreign exchange students from all across the globe. From Germany, Spain, and India, the students and faculty have welcomed all.
Recently, a newly graduated muskie, Maren McClelland, has taken off on her ten month journey to Italy. She is involved in an exchange program called Rotary Youth Exchange.
She has stated, “I heard about Rotary Youth Exchange because my dad is in a Rotary Club, so I went to the August weekend which is where you get to meet other exchange students. I saw the opportunities there, and I got to talk to other people who have already been on exchange.”
From then on, Maren has been involved in the program. In June 2016, she travelled to Germany for one month. While there, she stayed with a host family and was fully immersed in the German culture. She will be staying with a host family while she is in Italy, as well. She has said that travelling and experiencing different cultures has helped with her confidence and problem solving. She’s also stated that it has helped her grow as a person.
This year, John Glenn High School is accompanied with two foreign exchange students, Pati Llobet and Parishrut Kanhe. Pati is attending John Glenn as a sophomore and is from Barcelona, Spain. Pati said she was interested in coming to America to “learn English and the American culture.” Parishrut is also a sophomore and is from Nagpur, India. He said, “The culture of the USA made me interested in coming here.” Parishrut expressed that he was inspired by his brother because he was an exchange student as well.
Foreign exchange can be a life changing experience. Learning a new culture, language, and meeting new people are only a few of the positive ways it can impact your life. 7.5 billion people, 206 countries, 7 continents, and 5 oceans. This world is a large place. 7,000 languages, 5,000 ethnicities, and 4,000 religions. Life is too short to only experience your timezone. Explore, learn, create. Ready, set, go!