Foreign Exchange Student Luncheon


Elizabeth Merrill

Foreign exchange students enjoy the luncheon.

Thursday, March 17, Centennial High School hosted a foreign exchange student luncheon. This luncheon takes place every year and is hosted by the administration as a way for the students to reflect on their experiences.
“Every year we celebrate the foreign exchange students for coming here to the states and working so hard on our curriculum, so we just celebrate them,” assistant principal Karen Marzka said.
There are eleven foreign exchange students at Centennial for the 2021-2022 school year. Ten of them are girls and only one is a boy.
“I know that they like that we kinda keep them together as a group so that they can check in with each other and so they feel like they have a support system here because it can be kinda scary to go to another country,” said CHS librarian Andrea Wilder, who is a large part of the foreign exchange system.
Some benefits of being a foreign exchange student include learning a new language and experiencing educational diversity. Studying abroad can help people accept and understand different cultures in ways they had not before. A large challenge to studying abroad is feeling isolated, something the luncheon helps remedy.
Foreign exchange students come to Centennial for either a year or a semester.
The 2016 Open Doors Report from the Institute of International Education reports that over one million exchange students were enrolled in American schools and universities in the 2015-2016 school year.
The foreign exchange program started as a way to promote understanding of other nations after World War 1. In 1919, the Institute of International Education was created by Stephen Duggen and Nicholas Butler, Nobel Prize winners, and in 1923 the University of Delaware launched the first American study abroad program.