International Inquiries

Anna Kurian, Reporter

   Everyone has heard of foreign exchange students, but not many people have actually had the opportunity to meet one. People may have a vague idea when it comes to exchange students but not a lot of people know what it is like from the student’s perspective. In fact, it can be pretty stressful considering they are coming to a different country for school and not to mention leaving everything behind, including their family.

   Sophomore Daniela Fernandez came to Deer Creek from Spain at the beginning of the year, expecting an American high school experience like in the movies. However, it veered away from most stereotypes for the better. She made lots of new friends and has an experience she will never forget.

   “When they first tell you that you’re going to an American high school, you think about what you see in a movie and how everything is and it kind of is, to be honest, like it does kinda look like in movies but it is not at all how I expected it to be…it’s been crazy, it’s been a lot,” Daniela said.

   As much of a life-changing experience it has been, Daniela said that she has loved every moment, being at Deer Creek, and it has been probably one of the best experiences of her life. 

   “At first, I had the idea I would rather go to a small school, but now that I’m here, I am in love with Deer Creek,” Daniela said.

   She also said that the curriculum at Deer Creek is a lot different than in Spain, and the teachers here are a lot more forgiving and sympathetic.

   “I love the classes here so much better. And teachers are actually nice to you and care about you. And I feel like the things that you learn here, you can actually use in life. And I would say it’s way more well-rounded,” Daniela said.

   Since the government has preset classes for education in Spain, choosing what classes you want to take is not an option, nor choosing what level you want to take them. Even though coming to Deer Creek was her first official exchange, Daniela also said that she has been to one other exchange to Ireland for a month in the summer and stayed with a host family.

   “It was during summer, so it wasn’t like an actual school and there were more people from Spain, so it wasn’t like the same thing but actually changing and moving schools, I would say this is the first time,” Daniela said.

   She also said that she was nervous about coming to a completely different school and not knowing anybody but after a while, she met a lot of new people and made lots of new friends.

   “When you first get here, you are really worried like ‘I can’t make friends, I’m alone…’ And at first, it did take me some time and I feel like I know a lot of people now, and as time goes by, I’m getting more comfortable with them. And yeah, I do have a lot of people that I love and I’m gonna miss them so bad when I leave, ” Daniela said.

   She also said that the main reason she is having an amazing experience is due to her host family.

   “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be in Deer Creek. I love them, and if they told me to do it again with them, I would in a heartbeat, a thousand percent,” Daniela said.

   She said that her host family is also hosting one more exchange student from Cambodia and she is really glad she has someone that is experiencing the same things as her.

   “I feel like having someone else who’s going through the same thing that I’m going through really helps me and we’ve gotten really close,” Daniela said.

   Daniela said that even though she is having a great time here, she still misses the moments with her family back in Spain.

   “I just miss the moments you have with those people. Like around Christmas, we have a really big extended family and we always come over and have a huge family Christmas dinner,” Daniela said.

   She keeps in contact with her family so Daniela said that being able to call them when she misses them, helps. But, overall, she loves being in America and going to school at Deer Creek.

   “One thousand percent if they let me do it again, I’d say yes in a heartbeat,” Daniela said.