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Bon Voyage: French students take on Europe
Johanna Kruyne, of Talon Staff • April 3, 2024
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Silver Stars Takes Fifth at Nationals
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Johanna Kruyne, of Talon Staff • April 3, 2024
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Suham Alhamad, Emery Gregston, and Abby GlennApril 3, 2024
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Abby Glenn, Of The Talon staff • April 3, 2024
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Exchange students become falcons

From+left+to+right+Joana+De+Oliveira+Ferzol+of+Spain%2C+Gulay+Aliyeva%0Aof+Azerbaijan%2C+Valentina+DallOmo+of+Italy%2C+and+Philipp+Riehle+of%0AGermany.+
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From left to right Joana De Oliveira Ferzol of Spain, Gulay Aliyeva of Azerbaijan, Valentina Dall’Omo of Italy, and Philipp Riehle of Germany.

This school year we have four foreign exchange students from school year we have four foreign exchange students from Barcelona, Spain; Mannheim, Germany; Bologna, Italy; and Baku, Azerbaijan.

Junior Joana De Oliveira Ferzol from Spain said that it was a big aspiration for her to come to America because of what she had seen on the media, and after she vacationed to England over the summer she decided it would be a good time to travel to the US.

“I always wanted to do it. It was always my dream to come here because it’s like the movies. I went to England last summer and I really liked that and [knew that] I wanted to go to the United States,” De Oliveira Ferzol said.

Senior Valentina Dall’Omo from Italy said that coming to America is a once in a lifetime opportunity for her, and is a great way for her to develop her English skills.

“It’s an experience that you can only do once in your life and learning English it’s the best way,” Dall’Omo said.

Senior Gulay Aliyeva from Azerbaijan said that a big adjustment for her was having to switch classes all day since it was something that she had never done before.

“I think what [is] the most different is the education system. In our schools we don’t change rooms, the teachers just come and go and we stay in the same class in the same room. Here it’s so different and when I first attended this school, on my first day I was running to the classes because I’m not used to that, I was asking the people ‘where is that room?’” Aliyeva said.

Senior Philipp Riehle said that back in Germany he didn’t have the chance to participate in school sports since that is not common in Germany.

“I think sports are different because here you have school sports and I enjoy having more opportunities in sports. In Germany, sports are always club based and there are no school sports at all. They don’t exist,” Riehle said.

De Oliveira Ferzol said that she has had the opportunity to try new foods that she had not seen before back in Spain.

“I really like the food. Everyone told me the food was no good, but I love it. I tried peanut butter. It’s nowhere in Spain,” De Oliveira Ferzol said.

Dall’Omo said that some big differences she noticed coming to America were that she had to adjust her eating schedule and she now has more freedom in the classes she chooses to take.

“The food and routine and the time you eat [are the same]. Here, you eat very early, and the school is totally different [from] mine. In our school we choose a school that is a subject we want to do in our life,” Dall’Omo said.

Riehle said that the classrooms in Germany are more plain than in America and it’s interesting for him to see the different layouts of each room.

“The rooms also look different than mine. Mine are just white walls and a green board, for example, you have posters and stuff and the tables [are different]. We just have four white walls and tables in rows. You have different variations [of tables],” Riehle said.

Aliyeva said that a similarity she noticed when coming to America was that the people were very kind and inclined to help, which reminded her of how people are in Azerbaijan

“I think the people [are the most similar], I thought the people would be different but we have a lot in common. For example, if I ask you for help, the Americans are willing to help the strangers and the foreigners, which is common in my country as well and people here are so welcoming and hospitable, same as my country,” Aliyeva said.

Riehle said that another aspect that feels different to him about America is that the school is a lot larger than the ones he is used to in Germany.
“Everything is bigger, the school district, and the community and this counts as a small school in Rockwood but it’s so much bigger than the schools in Germany,” Riehle said.

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About the Contributors
Sonya Phillips, Business Manager
Class of 2025 Time on staff: 2 years Favorite newspaper memory: Trivia night when we all dressed up for zigs funeral but we were really the ones who committed the murder. Then we demolished the entire game Favorite song: "Back to December" by Taylor Swift
Kamryn Samlalsingh, Associate Editor-In-Chief
Class of 2025 Time on staff: 2 years Favorite newspaper memory: I love taking pictures of sporting events, and on academic reflections days I love when Raghed and I sing tswift together. Favorite song: "‘Stubborn Love" by The Lumineers

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