NHS Welcomes 21-22 Foreign Exchange Students


Caileane Thurston, Reporter

NHS has recently received 11 exchange students from Italy, Switzerland, Germany and a variety of other countries. The final number of exchange students studying at the high school this year is still to be determined as some are still awaiting arrival, but a final count will be tallied by the end of September. Student exchange programs are nothing new at NHS, but each year brings a new set of students and memories to be had.

According to The Benefits of Study Abroad, studying abroad accelerates foreign exchange students’ maturation. Their survey states that 96% of exchange students tallied, claim they experienced enhanced self-confidence. Another 95% indicated the program had a lasting impact on their worldview. Over half of the students polled state they are still in touch with American friends they made while studying overseas. This year, NHS exchange students are looking forward to participating in athletics, studying American culture and making new friends. 


Get to know 2021-2022 NHS exchange students below!


Seyun Kwon, South Korea

Kwon is one of the 11 foreign exchange students attending NHS for the 2021-2022 school year. She is staying with host parents James and Carrie Reid. Back home in South Korea she loves technology and public transportation. 

“I like it in [South Korea] because the wifi connection is really fast even when I climb mountains,” Kwon said. “Public transportation is comfortable to go on and go to different places.” 

She is looking forward to making new friends and participating in various activities like sports and foreign languages. One of the activities she is very excited about is volleyball. A major difference between Korea and America is that at her school they did not move to different classrooms throughout the day. Kwon and her various classmates typically stayed with each other and instead of students moving classrooms the teachers moved. 

“What I love about America is that I can choose classes that I am interested in or what I want to do,” Kwon said. “People are so open minded here to anyone, even if they are strangers.”


Bruna Bolado Montoriol, Spain

Montoriol is from Spain and has always wanted to enjoy American life. She loves her city in Spain and its buildings, the beach and the mountains, but she wants to visit as many states as she can during her time in America. She plans on participating in volleyball and swim during her time at NHS. 

The lifestyle is so different in each house that you can expect something and then that be totally different from the lifestyle,” Montoriol said. 


Marta Buscemi, Italy

Buscemi is from Italy and is staying with host parents James and Carrie Reid. Italy is home to various attractions such as Rome, Venice and the Amalfi coast. 



Giulia Ciliani, Italy

Ciliani is from Italy and is staying with host parents Fred and Jennie Cross. In Italy students have opportunities to go scuba diving and explore the Sunken City of Baia.



Amelie Daniel, Switzerland

Daniel is from Switzerland and is staying with host parent Brianna Esau. Switzerland is a country known for their chocolate and swiss cheese. 



Dominik Gabriel Kupiec, Poland

Kupiec is from Poland and is staying with host parents Steve and Ellen Herdler. Poland is ranked as one of the most welcoming countries in the world.



Pablo Garcia Gentil, Spain

Gentil traveled all the way from Spain to America this summer. While growing up in Spain, Gentil loved spending time with his friends and family but especially the customs and food. 

“I like having a different experience [while staying here in Kansas] and meeting new people,” Gentil said. 

In the fall, Gentil is planning on participating in Cross Country but he is open to all possibilities and more activities throughout the year. 

“It’s really different [here in America],” Gentil said. “School in Spain is only for studying. We do not have any dances or any clubs. Everything is really different but the biggest difference is the school.”


Jade Rogelet, France

Rogelet is from France and is staying with host parents Stephanie and Jeff Hawthorn. One of France’s most known attractions is the Eiffel Tower.


Yelyzaveta Rudiaga, Ukraine

Rudiaga is from Ukraine and is staying with host parents David and Kristen Kliewer. Ukraine is the largest country in Eastern Europe excluding Russia.


Sara Taticchi, Italy

Taticchi is from Italy and is staying with host parents Jeremy and Toshia Hoover. One of the main foods from her country is Pizza Napoletana.



Louisa Vetter, Germany

Vetter is from Germany, and is very interested in sports. She anticipates meeting a lot of new people and attending sporting events while staying in Newton. Vetter is going to play tennis in the fall and she might give basketball a shot in the winter. She says that her country is very different from America. For example, Newton does not have many transportation options compared to those in Germany. 

Vetter lived in a village in Germany and would always take the train or bus wherever she needed to go. She did not have to change classes like students do at NHS, and therefore is having difficulty deciding on what interesting classes she should take throughout her semester abroad. 

Although life in America is not completely what she expected, Vetter has found joy in little things such as with her host family.

I thought that maybe there were some veggie meals in fast food places but no, I was kinda disappointed, but my favorite thing is my host family’s cat. It’s a giant big fluffy white cat,” Vetter said.