EHS Welcomes Chinese Foreign Exchange Students

Jacqueline Glenn, Staff Writer

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The Chinese foreign exchange students have arrived to their host families’ homes in Edwardsville after traveling more than 7,000 miles across the world.

It’s junior Muriel Bowen’s first time hosting, which she decided to do because her mother used to host students from South America.

Bowen has planned some local activities for her guests’ stay in the States. She’s hosting two exchange students, Vicky and Dave.

“We’re going to some St. Louis landmarks, like the arch and the zoo, eating at local restaurants and shopping,” Bowen said. “I think that they’re a good representation of life as a local teen.”

Senior Ellie Elson is hosting an exchange student for the first time; her guest is named Yuki. While sometimes difficult, Elson said, the experience is worthwhile.

“It is taking some time to get comfortable and it is hard at times to communicate, but when we do activities, we have a lot of fun together,” Elson said.

Junior William Schueler is hosting for the second time, and he said his curiosity about foreign cultures motivated him to do so.

“I have always found other cultures and peoples to be of great interest to me,” Schueler said. “I also wanted to practice my Chinese.”

Schueler said he can’t pinpoint what specifically about Chinese culture intrigues him.

“It’s hard for me to separate certain elements that I like. I know that sounds like a cop-out answer, but I see it as a full package,” Schueler said. “The different social interactions, history, language, food and more all play a part.”

And Schueler and his guest, George, have found common ground.

“We both like computers, basketball and the same TV shows,” Schueler said.

To Schueler, the opportunity to host an exchange student is rewarding.

“The ability to experience the world through the eyes of someone with a different culture (makes it worthwhile),” Schueler said. “It helps you grow as a person.”

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