Foreign Exchange

Megan Manning, Editor

McPherson High School isn’t unfamiliar with the foreign exchange program, but for the 2017-2018 school year it has gained in popularity. This year the high school has a total of 5 exchange students, one from Sweden, Spain and South Korea, and two from Germany.

Marcel Horstkamp, is a sophomore is from Germany and one of the foreign exchange students this year. As he says, being selected for the program and applying are two very different things, “Usually your school will ask you if you want to and then you can go to the organization they have and pay them.” Then the organization in Germany will coordinate with the one in the U.S. Finally, the families who would like a foreign exchange student can see who is available and where they’re from.

Marcel says, “Depending on the family there are certain rules and some chores I have to do,” Even though there are rules here they are much less strict than they are in Germany. He says, “I want to be like a part of the family.”

There are many things that one would have to adjust to when coming to a new country and a new school. One thing that may be different is the classes you can take, such as SPS, business classes and fine arts. If someone was interested in art they would have to do it after school at a club. School size can also affect what classes are available, Marcel says, “There are 1,200 kids at my school in Germany.” Even lunch is different, they have two 15 minute breaks and are expected to bring their own lunch because school lunch is not provided. “School is very different here, the teachers are more friendly and there are a lot more options.”