Foreign Exchange Students Adjust to Life at J-DHS

Emma Huckins and Anyi Liebler-Bendix

Staff Writers


Every new school yearJ-DHS welcomes new students from all over the world, making J-DHS a very diverse environment. This year, J-DHS received students from Japan, Italy, Egypt and France.

Though most are visiting through the foreign exchange program, junior Nada Osman moved here permanently, all the way from Egypt to Syracuse, NY in hopes of a better education. She and her sister moved on Aug. 7, and their experiences have been good since they’ve arrived. The language differences have been a struggle for Osman, but she’s determined to become fluent in English. J-DHS is much bigger and the people are different compared to Osman’s old school. She loves to go shopping, but deeply misses her family, especially her mother.

Sophomore Jiwoo Park, is a foreign exchange student from Japan. She came to the United States in August of 2014, and she says she is enjoying her experiences at J-DHS so far. Park hasn’t found it too difficult to adjust to the new school, except for the language barrier. “My lack of English skills makes it difficult to communicate sometimes, but I have been taking English in Japan for many years so usually it is okay,” Jiwoo says. Compared to her old school in urbanized Tokyo, J-DHS is much bigger and has a greater variety of classes. One of her favorite activites to do at J-DHS is jazz band, but she is also a cheerleader.

Junior Alberto Miraglia, came to Syracuse, NY from Naples, Italy. J-DHS wasn’t the first school he had been to in the United States; he went to Henninger High School, but did not enjoy his experiences there. So, he switched to J-DHS, and is much happier. He is also getting along well with his new host family. Luckily for Miraglia, it has not been too difficult to adjust to J-DHS, but the school is much harder than Henninger. Miraglia’s school in Italy is completely different compared to J-DHS.  One difference is that “the students stay with the same classmates for all five years of high school.” Miraglia came to the United States mainly to learn English, but also because he was curious about the American school systems. He is also thinking about living in the States as an adult. While living in Syracuse so far, Miraglia hasn’t done a lot, but he likes hanging out with his host family. Something he misses from Italy is the food. “In Italy, the pizza has softer and thinner crust, so that you have to fold the pizza to eat it,” says Miraglia of his favorite food.  He says he has been to the Italian Festival in Syracuse, and the food doesn’t taste Italian. Miraglia also misses the convience of walking instead of taking a car everywhere.

Germain Le-Gallic, junior, is another foreign exchange student who came on Aug. 25 from Normandy, France. His positive outlook on J-DHS reflects his outgoing personality. He really likes the school, and thinks the people here are very nice. The warm welcome from J-DHS students has made it easy for Le-Gallic to adjust to the school. Also, the counselors have helped him by making it easy to answer questions for him. In France, Le-Gallic’s school finished much later than J-DHS. It also offered fewer choices such as not having as many sports or variety of classes. “In France, we do not have specialized classes, like chemistry. It is more general,” says Le-Gallic. Le-Gallic says the teachers were much more strict, as well. Le-Gallic’s favorite activity to do in Syracuse is to go to Tully’s. “The chicken tenders are very good,” Le-Gallic said. He was very shocked to find out that there were so many televisions in the restaurant. He is a very active student, joining the volleyball team and many clubs as well. The one thing Le-Gallic misses from his old school is the lunch period which included a buffet. He says that the food in the buffet is much fresher and it gives students a bigger variety of food for lunch.