By Tonya Duncan, Regional Administrator
The Olympic Games bring people from many different countries together. People are proud to represent their country. They are proud to be able to SHARE their country with the rest of the world, even if it is just for a moment. It is so wonderful that so many people can be proud of who they are, and proud of the country they represent. And that they can all come together with respect, understanding, and accepting of each others differences.
SHARE High School Exchange Students come to the United States proud to represent their country, and proud to be able to SHARE that with us.
We interviewed some of our wonderful exchange students.
We asked, "What do you love about your country?":
Beam, from Thailand, said "I love being from Thailand, because I love how Thai people show respect to older people. Thai people always smile to others even though you don't know that person. I like the culture and tradition, I think it's so pretty, like Loy Katrong Day and Songkran Day. And I love Thai food, I like how they use different seasoning to make a variety taste".
"What I love about being Italian? That's pretty simple. Being surrounded by great food and friendly people." -Claudia, from Italy.
"Brazil is a place full of diversity and good people. Part of my personality is because of that...I just love all people! I love my home country so much!" -Caroline, from Brazil.
And Ida, from Denmark, said "I love that my country is so welcoming to everyone, and that we have a great government, that gives good educational opportunities, and good health care."
We also asked them, "Why are you proud to be from your country?":
"Because Brazil is a place where everyone is welcome. It doesn't matter where you are from, what you believe...If you just want to have fun and enjoy life, Brazil is the place to be!"
"I'm proud to be Danish because Denmark is a country full of free thinkers, equality, and beautiful architecture." - Ida, Denmark.
Beam, from Thailand, said she is proud to be from Thailand because everywhere you go people greet you like friends.
"I'm really proud to be Italian because I grew up in a place where sharing and helping others is extremely important. Italians are friendly and always by your side. And, we are very good cooks!" -Claudia, Italy.
Last, we asked them, "Why are you proud to be an honorary American, here as an exchange student?":
What Claudia loves about America is all the amazing friends she has made here. She says, "They will be friends that stay with me forever." And, she loves the amazing landscapes that this country offers.
"I am proud because I got an opportunity to learn an American culture, I get to know many things from America. My home town and here have a lot of different things, but it teaches me how to adapt myself to live in a different environment. People here are also friendly and kind." - Beam, Thailand.
"Since I got to America, people treated me so well! I thought it was going to be the opposite, but their excitement was just incredible! It's a great place to be!" - Caroline, Brazil.
"I'm proud to be an honorary American because it's a great title to have and I would love to inspire young people to do exchange in a foreign country, because it's such a great experience." -Ida, Denmark.
We have so many wonderful students from different countries like Germany, Japan, Norway, China, Poland, Spain, and so many more wonderful countries!!! We are proud of these students, proud of how they represent their countries, and proud to call them "Honorary Americans".