Brookville’s 2018 Exchange Students


Erin McKown

Every year, Brookville welcomes foreign exchange students and provides them with the experience of how an American school functions. This year, four exchange students were able to join the ranks of Brookville’s student body.

Senior Ririho Sugawara came to the United States from Japan, though she goes by her English name ‘Lily’. Sugawara currently lives with senior Linnea Margiotta, and came to the US via the exchange company Ayusa. She departed from her hometown of Yokohama July 20th, and arrived in the states the 21st. Sugawara noted how different American and Japanese schools are.

“ I like the American lifestyle because respect is to the individual. In Japan you adjust yourself to people around you instead. At school, we have to wear school uniforms,” Sugawara said. “We don’t move each class. The teachers come to the classrooms instead. We’re also not allowed to choose classes, and we have to take predefined classes. We don’t have prom or homecoming,but we have sport festivals and school festivals.”

Being in America, Sugawara is able to be part of several clubs and athletic teams, which she might not have been able to do back home.

“I really like Brookville,” Sugawara said. “I’ve joined cross country, track and field, POSSA, and anime club. I’m making a lot of friends, and I’m getting to experience a lot.”

German exchange student Arvid Kuehl, who is spending his sophomore year at Brookville, came to the United States through the exchange company ICES.

“I came to America because I wanted to see something new, and make new friends,” Kuehl said. “I also wanted to learn the language. I wasn’t really nervous when I arrived in the United States, I was just tired because I stayed up for like 28 hours. My favorite part about America is the big selection of M&Ms and the people, who are much more friendly than in Germany.”

Despite leaving his hometown of Frankfurt and his family, Kuehl hasn’t felt any homesickness yet, though he still finds ways to keep in contact with old friends back in Germany.

“At the moment I’m not really homesick, but I do miss some of my friends, even though I play video games with them sometimes,” Kuehl said. “My [American] group of friends is pretty small at the moment even if I wish it would be different.”

Kuehl’s host brother, sophomore Shane Dobyn’s, enjoys the experience of having a foreign student, even though it’s his first time hosting one.

“I think it’s fun,” Dobyns said. “I definitely think that having a foreign exchange student is great because I haven’t had the experience of having a brother, so I feel like I have a brother now.”