by Micah De Haanfirstname.lastname@example.org
PCHS welcomed seven new international students to its hallways this year, along with five returning international students. The five students who decided to come back to PC are from China and South Korea. The new international students come from a variety of backgrounds, and they display an even larger array of personalities.
Five of this year’s international students come from China: freshmen Cathy Tang, Maria Zhang, and Keziah Zhang, junior Alan Wang, and sophomore Catherine Chen. Sophomore Alejandro Murdoch is from Asuncion, Paraguay, and senior Vivien Bodnar calls a little village in Tiszabökény, Ukraine her home. Freshman Hayeong Jin is from South Korea.
The international students have been faced with a lot of challenges. Wang says that the most difficult adjustment is going from one school system to another. “It’s quite different from my previous school,” said Wang.
Freshman Hayeong Jin says that writing and speaking in English all the time is the biggest challenge that she has faced, but that there are other obstacles as well. “The biggest challenge is to make new friends,” says Murdoch. Bodnar echoes his opinions, saying, “I’m always glad when somebody starts a conversation with me.”
Among the struggles, there have also been a lot of high notes for the international students. Bodnar enjoys attending volleyball games and making trips to Des Moines. “The girl’s volleyball game was interesting to me,” said Bodnar. “I used to play it too, but just for fun. It was great to watch it again after a long time without.” Wang has enjoyed math class with teacher Kevin Herdegen. “He is a great bloke,” said Wang, “and I love how he leads his students to be responsible for their studies.”
Many of the international students have been looking forward to studying around the world, and are thankful for the opportunity to do so. “I’ve always wanted to have the chance to study abroad, says Tang, “I am so glad my dream finally came true.”