By Lorrie Ham
For seven teenagers from around the globe, the Westonka Community will be home for the next several months. The exchange students came to Westonka through the Youth for Understanding (YFU) program.
The students have settled in with their host families, met many new friends, joined school sports teams and have begun learning about a new culture. The students will also take part in some group activities as the year goes on.
“Our exchange students have acclimated well to life at Mound Westonka High School,” said Guidance Counselor Tiffany Simon. “They are involved and have really connected with our student body.”
Mikkel Christiansen of Denmark is enjoying team sports like soccer and football. He finds there is more respect for the teachers and classes here than at home, where he lives with his parents and younger sister. He hopes to get a lot better at English, make new friends and gain a new perspective on Americans and the way the live while he’s here staying with the Lewis family.
Oskar Danielson of Sweden likes his psychology class because it’s interesting and has a great teacher. He says he has more homework than at home. He lives in a big city with his parents and two older sisters. Noodles are his favorite new food. He is staying with the Dahl family and looking forward to meeting people and having new experiences.
Luk Fleddermann of Germany is staying with the Linda Cordie family. He likes history, because he enjoys watching movies in class. His favorite activities so far include cross country and doing things with his host family. He also enjoys swimming and playing the piano. He says he has met lots of friendly people and looks forward to improving his English skills and learning how to integrate into a new culture.
For Kesha Nowack of Germany, drawing is her favorite subject at MWHS. She enjoys cheerleading here, as well as yoga and dancing at home. She likes everything about being an exchange student, except for missing her family. She hopes to speak fluent English, learn the school system here and find amazing new friends. She is staying with the Bader family.
The Linda Cordie family is also hosting Alexis Olvera of Mexico. He likes his Intro to Marketing and English classes at MWHS. In Mexico, he has more classes during the day, but the school facilities are similar. His favorite new food is chocolate cake with peanut butter. At home he lives with his parents, grandma and younger sister. He hopes to leave here with many good experiences, a lot of new friends and more knowledge.
Vincent Rominger of Germany likes his Marketing class because Ms. Lolich is a really nice teacher. He enjoys soccer, tubing and riding a Jet Ski here, while at home he likes playing beach volleyball. He is proud of his family at home because they want him to have the best year of his life as an exchange student. He is looking forward to an awesome year of meeting lots of life-long friends and learning better English. He is staying with the Holman family.Classes here are very different for Lara Schulte of Germany. Students there have a weekly schedule, not a daily schedule, and tests are very different. She likes her Art and Intro to Marketing classes because they have nice teachers and the students have fun. Pancakes with maple syrup are her new favorite food. She enjoys volleyball here, as well as beach volleyball, biking and saxophone at home, where she lives with her parents, one sister and their dog. She says the Minnesota State Fair was awesome. She hopes to make friends for life, learn better English and have fun while she’s here. She is staying with the Anderson family.