The high school welcomes five foreign friends

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Emily Gold

BY EMILY GOLD (’20)
The high school is hosting five new exchange students this year.

The school welcomes Sophomore David Seidl from the Czech Republic, junior Yi-Chia Hsieh from Taiwan, and seniors Mariana Garcia-Tapia from Chile, Agnete Maria Vonheim from Norway and Mahmoud Hassan from Egypt.

Normally, the school has around three to four exchange students every year, but with the overabundance of kids wanting to travel, the high school made some exceptions, according to the school counselor, Brandi Cooper.

Cooper is the one that the exchange students go to if any trouble occurs, “One of the biggest struggles with the lockers”,  Cooper said, “sometimes we spend around 30 minutes just to get the students prepared”

Garcia-Tapia was more than excited to get this year started. According to Garcia-Tapia, the transition from Chile to America was difficult but she is fitting in just right. “There is something new every day that I learn and the culture is so different from Granville to Chile,” Gracia-Tapia said. “I love the town because it is so small and I feel safe here.”

Host families also play a major role in the exchange program, since they are the first people the teens meets in a foreign place. Nona and Penny Hunter, who are hosting an exchange student this year, say the program has benefits for the host families as well.

“[The exchange program] expands Granville diversity,” Penny said, “And it’s amazing to live with a person from another country because we learn their language and how they act.”