A home away from home

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Natalie Lewis and Teresa Randlett

The four foreign exchange students who are attending HB for the 2015-16 school year.

Natalie Lewis, Staff Writer

This year, Hollis Brookline High School is hosting four foreign exchange students, each traveling from different locations around the globe. Four girls are embarking on the brave experience of spending a year away from home.

Britt Stegeman ‘16 is a returning visitor from the Netherlands. So far, she said that her favorite location she has visited is New York City. In regards to her positive and negative experiences in the country thus far, Stegeman said that she “loves mac ‘n’ cheese”, but is having a hard time adjusting to being so far away from home.

Although she will be returning home at the end of the school year, Stegeman said that she has one more adventure she wishes to embark on before she leaves, “I want to go to an ice hockey game.”

Ekin Tatli ‘16 is a native of Ankara,

Before I came here, I was dreaming of going to New York City to see a Broadway musical.”

— Kanon Orimoto

Turkey. Tatli has spent quite a bit of time on the slopes this winter, snowboarding in Vermont.  When she returns home, Tatli plans to pursue a career in law.

One of the biggest struggles Tatli has had in America is not only learning the language, but adjusting to American customs. Being her first time in the U.S., Tatli said, “I could tell you many things that I like about this country, but Christmas was my favorite so far.”

Seventeen-year-old Eline Hegna ‘16  is a first time visitor from Norway. This is also her first time being away from her mom for more than two weeks. She said that she has found it challenging to find ways to be her true self in such a foreign place.

Hegna is participating in theater at the school and said, “Now that I’m busy, I don’t think about missing family.”

The last of the exchange students is Kanon Orimoto ‘16 from Japan, who is experiencing her first ever international trip. The start of her visit to the U.S. was spent touring the west coast with her exchange program.

Although she enjoyed the sandy beaches, Orimoto has something else on her to-do list.  “Before I came here, I was dreaming of going to New York City to see a Broadway musical,” Orimoto said.

One of her favorite aspects of American schooling is how the grades are integrated, unlike her school back home. Orimoto said that in Japan, the grades are extremely segregated, making it difficult to make friends of different ages.
Although each of the girls’ time here is limited, they have each found unique ways to absorb the American way of life, while trying something new and worthwhile along the way.