Two Foreign Exchange Students spend a year at KAHS
Wed, 03/11/2020 - 9:57am admin
Jenny Leibel & Desmond Bad Wound
For many foreign exchange students, traveling to a foreign land and learning to adapt to the culture can be daunting. Think of some lifestyle changes you would have to sacrifice if you were to be put in their shoes. That favorite meal you eat just about every week, the friends and family you love to chat with and not to mention reading everything in a different language are just some quick examples of what you can expect to change. The Kadoka Press and many others, I assume, would like to know, what does an outsider’s perspective of Kadoka look like? We conducted two interviews with both of Kadoka Area’s foreign exchange students to try and find out!
The Kadoka Area School District welcomed their second foreign exchange student earlier this year. They both hail from Japan and seem to be having quite the time here in Kadoka. For this section, we will focus on Masato Isaka. He is a junior this year and is fostered by the O’Bryan family.
He is the fourth child to be fostered by the O’Bryan’s, having fostered three girls in the past.
Isaka has had an eventful school year, participating in football and wrestling this fall but his favorite sport is rugby, which he plays often back in Japan.
While enjoying the fruits of what Kadoka has to offer, he mentions he loves Japan’s fast-paced lifestyle. He jokes, “I wake up late in Japan, not as early like here, two minutes and I am in school.” That’s not to say he hasn’t enjoyed Kadoka though, he has loved the relationships he has built in school and at home. “In Japan, family is very important,” he added.
While the foreign exchange student program does not allow the students to personally pick where they are going, Isaka mentions he would have picked somewhere like New York, New York because of the similar lifestyles.
For this second section we will focus on Tomoka Kiga. She is a Junior and is fostered by the Madsen Family. Tomoka is from Chiba which is close to Tokyo, Japan. She will be here until June.
When asked how life where she is from compared to here she answered “There are a lot of differences: School is easier than the school I used to go to in Japan. I don't have very much homework and I’ve heard that Americans math is easy, but it’s not, It is almost the same level in Japan.
She does girls high school basketball. And when she was in Japan, she played tennis and karate. Her favorite sport is badminton, Karate, and basketball although she likes most of the sports.
When asked what she likes about it here she responded “There are cool nature and wild animals here. When I saw horses, cows, deer and prairie dogs in normal life, I was really surprised and that's normal here! Also, I like the Badlands!”
She has met a lot of nice people her host family, friends teachers, etc. Everyone is so nice to her and she is really glad she came here and on the bright side, it is warmer here than Chiba.
When asking the host family how they got into this program they responded “Our journey to being a host family didn’t follow the traditional path. Tomoka was already living with a host family in the area and wanted to play basketball. Unfortunately, logistics made that impossible, so new placement was considered. When I heard about her situation, our family discussed it and decided to apply to the exchange program. We were approved, and she moved in with us on November 15.”
We hope you enjoyed reading about our foreign exchange students as much as we enjoyed interviewing them!