by Felicia De Innocentiis . Staff writer|
Akiko Ishimine is one of the many diverse students here at Johnson that is here on account of foreign exchange. They come from all over the world to try out the interesting and unique style of the American educational system. Ishimine, a sophomore, is from Japan.
“This year was awesome, but there was a lot of cultural differences. Like we don’t hug and we have homeroom everyday, and only teachers can move around the classroom,” Ishimine said.
Florian Meyer is a German exchange student who experiences similar differences in German schools.
“My school isn’t as big, and it has only my grade. We’re in the same classroom and the teachers come to your room for all the subjects,” Meyer said.
Classroom settings aren’t the only differences. American teenagers also act differently than Japanese teenagers.
“People are so energetic here and unique. It’s really different, but people are so nice. People in America speak so fast. It was hard to understand the first time,” Ishimine said.
The students go back to their home countries on June 15. It will be a bittersweet return because of all the new friendships they will have to leave behind in the U.S.
“I really like it here, I don’t want to go back. It’s kind of sad because you have to leave everyone. Its like leaving a second family here,” Meyer said.
The journey isn’t over yet however. Both Ishimine and Meyer are already planning to come back to the U.S. for college and travel.
“[I’ll come back] maybe for college, maybe in America or maybe another English speaking country like New Zeland,” Meyer said.
The students will take back with them their experiences of a different way of life.
“Riding the yellow school bus was my dream,” Ishimine said.