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Morning Sun
  • TROJAN TRIBUNE: GHS hosts foreign exchange students

  • Girard High School is hosting two foreign exchange students for the 2012-2013 school year.



    The students are Mai Ohira from Tokyo, Japan, and Lisette Paulsen from Sommerfeld, Germany, both of whom lived with Loretta and Allen Leitenberger during the first semester.

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  • Girard High School is hosting two foreign exchange students for the 2012-2013 school year.
    The students are Mai Ohira from Tokyo, Japan, and Lisette Paulsen from Sommerfeld, Germany, both of whom lived with Loretta and Allen Leitenberger during the first semester.
    This semester Ms. Ohira is living with Blaise and Nancy Bauer, and Ms. Paulsen is living with Hank and Carrie Smith.
    The students shared their educational and cultural experiences recently in an interview. Their responses follow.
    Why did you decide to become a foreign exchange student?
    Mai Ohira: I wanted to go to America. My mother went to a university in California. I wanted to learn English and American culture. I was interested in life in America.
    Lisette Paulsen: I wanted to learn English and another culture. I decided to come to America.
    What do you think about America?
    MO: I like it. It’s different from Tokyo. I like the food and the culture. I like this life.
    LP: It’s very cool to be here. I like some of the food, but some of the food I don’t like. It’s cool to see the differences.
    What is the difference between your life here and your life back home?
    MO: There are no houses around my house. We always use a car here. We never used a car back home. I usually walk or ride my bike. The food is very different.
    LP: School is very different. The people are very different. We use cars here. I usually ride the train, bus or walk back home.
    What do you miss most from home?
    MO: I miss my friends, my pet and the food.
    LP: I miss my friends and my family. I miss the food, and I miss the train.
    Are you involved in any sports or clubs here that you don’t have at your school?
    Both: Kayettes and FCCLA.
    What are you looking forward to doing while you are in America?
    MO: I’m looking forward to learning the culture and language. I hope to make friends and experience things that we don’t have in Japan. I also want to bring the Japanese culture to America.
    LP: I’m looking forward to learning the culture and the language. I hope to make lifelong friends.
    After you return home, do you think you’ll want to come back to America?
    MO: I hope to come back, but I can’t for a while.
    LP: I can’t come back because it’s too far and too expensive, but I hope to stay in touch with people.
    Page 2 of 2 - What has it been like having to adjust to life in America?
    Both: We have to speak English every day, and we go to church every Wednesday and Sunday.
    What are some major differences between GHS and your school back home?
    MO: The schedule is different. Here I have the same schedule every day, but in Japan I have different classes. I have six classes a day, and they are 50 minutes. We have 10 minutes between classes, and Saturday we have a half day.
    LP: Everything is different. The schedule here is the same every day. We have longer breaks between classes. Here, the teachers have their own rooms, but in Germany, each class has its own room, and the teachers switch rooms.
    What is your favorite class at Girard?
    MO: My Intro to Human Services class.
    LP: I like Drama and Forensics and Intro to Human Services.
    Both students plan to finish the school year at GHS before returning to their homes during summer vacation.
    GHS has greatly enjoyed the unique, cultural atmosphere that these students have fostered during the year, and the students, staff and administration would like to wish them the best of luck in the future.

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