- Written by Administrator
- Category: ROOT
- Published: 09 June 2009
- Last Updated: 01 July 2009
- Created: 09 June 2009
â€œYou more or less come and go as you want,â€ said Catrine Sigstadsto of her home country, Norway. In fact, her only knowledge of such things came from watching movies about American schools.
â€œEverybody thought it was a big joke,â€ she said.
Bathroom passes aside, the three students, Sigstadsto, Bernardo Neves from Brazil, and Vanessa Wirzberger from Germany, have adjusted well to life in Duxbury. Theyâ€™ve participated in all aspects of DHS life â€“â€“ Neves was on the swimming team, Sigstadsto was a student aide and Wirzberger traveled to Disney with the DHS band â€“â€“ and all three walked with their classmates in the graduation ceremonies on Saturday. All three have picked up English extremely well. However, when youâ€™ve grown up watching American teenagers in movies and TV shows, itâ€™s hard to come across the pond without some preconceived notions.
â€œThe cheerleaders arenâ€™t as popular as I thought,â€ joked Wirzberger.
It was the first extended stay in America for all three students, who admitted that getting used to their new families and surroundings wasnâ€™t easy.
â€œSpeaking English 24 hours a day was pretty tiring,â€ Neves said.
But they soon learned to love their new home. Neves said he was impressed by â€œthe respect people have for each otherâ€ in Duxbury. Wirzberger marveled at the school spirit at DHS.
â€œItâ€™s this little cute, kind community,â€ said Sigstadsto.
Although many of the day-to-day aspects of school life are similar, all three exchange students said students at DHS enjoy more academic freedom.
â€œIn Germany, you donâ€™t get to choose what classes you want to go to,â€ said Wirzberger.
â€œYou have everything together in one school,â€ added Sigstadsto. â€œIn Norway, if you want to do art you have to go to an art school.â€
It was tough for the students to single out a particular favorite memory from the year.
â€œThe whole thing,â€ said Neves, laughing. â€œIâ€™m a simple guy.â€
But all agreed the experience had a profound impact on their lives.
â€œI think the whole year just changed me,â€ said Wirzberger.
â€œIâ€™m never going to take family and friends for granted again,â€ said Sigstadsto.
Duxbury has a long tradition of hosting AFS students. The first exchange student came to Duxbury in 1969, and the local AFS chapter is active to this day.