Every day, students are opened to more and more opportunities right in front of them. In the Fort Mill School District, there has been an increasing, amount of foreign exchange students that attend these schools for an entire school year. Nola Schramm is a junior at Fort Mill High School that is a part of this program.
Schramm has an ambitious outlook on life, she is a bundle of sunshine that is not afraid of change. She seemed very grateful for all of her experiences and the whole process of being able to explore the Americas, however, this process is time consuming. She explained, “At the beginning, you have to find an organization and then write an application. In Germany, I had some workshops in Berlin (prepare me) for the exchange program… The last thing is the saddest point, saying goodbye to family and friends.” Later, the organization will submit an email back and provide information on a host family which whom the student will reside during his/her stay in America.
Schramm seems to be acclimating very well with this big change in her life. During school hours, she enjoys theatre and dance classes offered at FMHS. Also, she really loves going to football games because this was an easy way to make new friends and see a tremendous amount of school spirit. Schramm commented, “For Mill is so different compared to my school in Germany. I use tho have a different schedule every day in Germany, whereas I take the same subjects here. Also, there were only 300 students back home because I lived in a small town. I think it just takes time getting used to.” When Schramm was asked what the hardest thing about coming to the US was, she responded back with making new friends and relationships. Even though this transition can be tough at times, Schramm’s favorite experience here has been visiting New York City and capturing along the way.
With her bubbly, exuberant personality she would like to challenge others to be open-minded with new adventures and to live life to the fullest. Of course, the difficult part of her journey is leaving her family behind for a chunk of time, but she thinks that social media plays a big role in making this experience possible. Social media enables her family and friends to check up on her and reach out. She also loves to keep up with them by writing letters.
Foreign exchange students are able to experience a once in a lifetime kind of experience, learn a new culture and make new friends. Schramm concluded, “Enjoy every part of your life, the time is running by really fast and your time in this Earth is counted.”
— By Daniella Crawford