Saying Goodbye to American Dreams

Foreign Exchange Students Leave for Home

Seniors aren’t the only ones who leave at the end of the year; foreign exchange students from all over the world are beginning to count down the days they have left in Texas. Ten months ago, 14 exchange students from all around the world came here to start their adventure and experience the American high school life. Before the students leave, we wanted to give them a chance to explain their year in America.



Marko Horvatic  – Serbia

  • What was your favorite high school memory?

There are several different things that I enjoyed here in America, and it is really hard to just choose one. I enjoyed being a part of the football team, going to pep rallies, and being a part of StuCo and also prom.

  • Are the teachers different here?

They are kind, helpful, and a lot more relaxed than the teachers back home.

  • What will you miss?

Mainly my host family and friends, and Mexican food.


Laura Overbeck – Germany

  • Are the teachers different here?

Yes they are. Most of them here are more personal, and more like your friends than in Germany. In Germany I don’t talk to them as much as I do here.

  • Favorite high school memory?

The powder puff game was pretty cool, because girls got the chance to take on the traditional masculine American boy role. Homecoming was pretty cool, in Germany we don’t have anything like that.

  • What will you miss the most?

My beautiful family and friends, our pool at home because we don’t have pools at our house in Germany, the prices, and Mexican food.


Johan Kretschmer – Germany

  • What was your favorite high school memory?

Pep Rallies were my favorite high school memories because of cheer leaders, we don’t have them in Germany

  • What will you miss the most?

The kindness of the people, the weather, and to have seven million options of fast food.

  • What were you expecting Texas to be like, and how is it different?

I expected a bunch of proud Americans, wearing cowboy boots, eating fast food and shooting guns. I turned out to be right.


Erik Erdell – Germany 

  • What were you expecting Texas to be like, and how is it different?

I expected it to be hotter, but it was raining all of the time. I also expected a lot of people riding horses to school, but I didn’t see that either.

  • What was your favorite high school memory?

When we went six and one in the first half of the soccer season

  • How are the teachers different here?

I wouldn’t say that they are different. They are more open than Germany. More welcoming.

  • What will you miss the most?

I will miss the fast food


Greger Gahre – Norway

  • What was your most unusual experience in Texas?

The rodeo was a weird experience because we don’t have them in Norway. I enjoyed it because it was something different that I won’t get a chance to see again.

  • What was your favorite high school experience?

Friday night football games and the ability to be in extracurricular activities is very cool because it’s not just about academics but fun as well. The school spirit was great as well, because in Norway we only have academics, so there is nothing to really cheer about.

  • What will you miss the most about Texas?

I will miss all of the people, food, the prices at restaurants, and especially free refills.


Rafael Carneiro – Brazil

  • What were you expecting Texas to be like, and how is it different?

I thought it was going to be western and cowboy style, but it is not as intense. I also thought that it was going to be really dry and hot, but I was wrong since it snowed and rained a lot this year.

  • What was your best high school experience

I think the whole high school spirit was unreal, although it is not as hype as others. All of the sporting events were great, especially the football games. In Brazil we only have core classes and we don’t have school spirit because there is no sports teams, only academic competitions.

  • What food will you miss?

That’s a hard question because there are so many… Ranch, Mexican food, Dr. Pepper, Pop-Tarts, Uncrustables, Hot Cheetos, Olive Garden, and the list goes on.


These students explain how they have put hard work into their 2014-2015 exchange year, and are proud of all of the many things that they have accomplished here in America. They wouldn’t have been able to experience it in the best way possible without their host families and coordinator. They would like to thank the faculty and staff of JHS for making their American high school dream come true.

The foreign exchange students JHS receives every year are from two different prestigious organizations: Future Leaders Exchange [FLEX] and Aspect Foundation. Every year families across the nation select a foreign exchange student to share their home with for a year and make their dream come true. Although this may seem scary to people who have not witnessed this before, it is actually an excellent way to bring a different culture into one’s home.

Dawna Bailey, FLEX coordinator, is looking for help. She has been sharing her home with foreign exchange students for many years now, and is on her 33rd exchange student this year. Bailey feels it is an excellent way to learn about and really understand countries from around the world.

Students are available from a variety of countries and are waiting on the call that a family in Texas has selected them as their new son or daughter.

Please call Mrs. Bailey today if you are interested (817)-558-2337 and for more information about why you should host, visit here.