Adrian Pace was one of our High School Visit participants this winter on the Independent Homestay Program. He came for two weeks at the end of February and shadowed students at the Iroquois High School in Elma, NY. Below he, his teacher (Jenna Gaske), and his local coordinator (Mary Julian) share their insights on his experience.
Adrian (French/Moroccan participant)
How did you integrate into the classroom?
Very well each time. Being a foreigner was always intriguing, and everyone was always very nice with me. It has never been a problem to speak with my classmates.
What do you think you brought to your classmates?
I think I brought them some insight of how works another system, how life is in other countries, how different things can be. I also think I brought them the wish to discover other countries and other cultures.
What was the highlight of your experience?
I really can’t choose a highlight of my two weeks in Buffalo. We have done so much, and I have lived so much different experience that I would say that the full experience was just wonderful. I have gone from discovering the daily life of an American family, to going to school like a normal student, every experience was very unique.
Can you describe in a few words what having an international student brought to your class?
The students found his visit exciting and a nice change in pace to our classroom routine.
Why should a teacher consider having a visiting exchange student assist in their class?
Exchange students provide first-hand knowledge of the language and culture the students are studying. Because Adrian is from Morocco, he provided new information about countries other than France that speak French. He was really informative about the educational system in Morocco.
How did Adrian integrate into the classroom?
Adrian answered all of our questions and provided an authentic language experience to the students. He was very patient with all of the students’ questions and tried hard to help them communicate in French. He was relaxed and kind.
I was pretty lucky with Adrian. He was about as perfect an IHP placement as you can get. His host mom had five daughters with only one left at home. I talked her into a boy and was glad to see Adrian was the perfect fit for her. I had no problems at all from Adrian. He was polite, held doors open for women, helped his host mom out all the time and constantly spent time with his family as opposed to hiding in his room on a cell phone. Great kid!!