New Beginnings

Kyla Combs, Staff Writer

Moving from one country to another, where you don’t know anyone, or what it’s like is hard.

“It’s not the first time I moved to another country so I already knew it was going to be a challenge. I also heard from friends who had already done the exchange, it was an amazing experience, so I had good expectations.” senior Carolina Lejeune said.

Schools in the Netherlands are very different from schools in the United States. There’s many differences when it comes to extracurricular activities, joining sports, clubs, how schools are set up, grade levels and more.  

“In the Netherlands we have different levels of high school and it just depends on which level you are on which subject, and that’s a lot easier to be honest. We can choose which high school we want to go to. You have to have five on a list,” senior Sam Franken said.

In the United States, you don’t really get the option to choose your school, unless you pay for private school. Whatever school is closest to where you live is where you will go.

“Our high school and middle school are together so there isn’t a different building for middle school. School and sports and clubs are separate so if you want to sign up for a sport, you have to do that at a sports club,” Franken said.

Moving to a new school is already hard enough for students, but moving from a school in another country to a school in the United States is scary for these students. 

“I really like it here, everyone is super nice and it’s a lot easier to talk to people than I thought it would be,” Franken said. “So far I love Bullitt East. The people are super nice and have patience with me and my terrible accent,” Lejeune said.

Lots of countries, such as the Netherlands and Spain are very different from the United States. People travel and get around differently, and the culture is overall very different.

“I think the biggest difference is that we ride our bikes everywhere, And here in the United States it is not that common. I would ride my bike to school and be there in 10 minutes. The distances between things here in the United States are bigger so it’s harder to ride your bike somewhere here,” Franken says.

It’s very different joining clubs and sports in different countries than it is in the United States. In Europe, you can’t necessarily play sports for school or join clubs at school, because they simply just don’t have them.

“I wanted to play soccer and at first I was only allowed to play at practices, but now I’m playing in the games too! I’m not super good but I hope I’ll get better over time. The girls on the team are super nice and I really like it,” Franken said.

“I joined the cross country team, I love it and I am amazed at how fast the people on the team are.” Lejeune said.

Overall, the students have had a great experience here so far. As you can see Europe is very different from the United States. The foreign exchange program is such an amazing opportunity for students around the world.