Fair Grove Welcomes Three Foreign Students

October 14, 2020

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This year Fair Grove High School has three new seniors from Europe. Vittoria Fornari and Esmee Ensing are foreign exchange students, and Sem Harp is staying with family in America. 

Vittoria Fornari is a foreign exchange student from Italy. She is currently staying with Debbie Thomas along with Fair Groves other foreign exchange student, Esmee Ensing.

Vittoria tried volleyball for a few weeks, but she is now waiting for basketball season to try cheerleading. School looked different structurally in Italy; Vittoria described, “Lessons start at 8 am and finish at 2 pm, and we never have lunch at school. We don’t have sports at school, if we want to practice sports we have to go outside school in the afternoon and pay for that.” 

Esmee Ensing is from the Netherlands, and as previously mentioned, is also staying with Debbie Thomas and Vittoria Fornari. Esmee is not currently involved in any extracurricular activities at Fair Grove. “My everyday life here is so different than in the Netherlands,” Esmee explained, “First of all, the school days are longer here, and you have sports at school. While in the Netherlands, you play club sports, so I had volleyball practice in the evening. Second, because the classes take longer (we had 45 min classes) you have more time to be already done with homework/assignments at school. I had to do a lot for school after I came home.”

While Sem Harp is not technically a foreign exchange student, he has temporarily moved from the Netherlands to the U.S. where he is living with his aunt. Sem is currently playing soccer at Fair Grove, and he plans on possibly playing baseball in the spring. Some of the biggest differences Sem mentioned were the time difference, longer school days, and the fact that people younger than him are allowed to drive. Like the foreign exchange students, he is also only staying for the school year.

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