By EMMA NORMAN – With the end of the school year approaching, IHS prepares to say its goodbyes to our cherished foreign exchange students. Iago Jopia, Marie Tournant, and Luke Labalo have been part of IHS for the entirety of the 2018-2019 school year.
Leaving a home can be difficult for many reasons. Iago Jopia, from Spain, gave some insight into his experience as a foreign exchange student. He remarked, “Leaving brings up a variety of emotions. I leave this place changed in a personal aspect, athletic aspect, and academic aspect. This is definitely been the best ten months of my life. I will never forget this place and I will carry these experiences with me everywhere.”
Marie Tournant, from France, also spoke about her experience. She commented, “I am very sad and I am going to miss it. IHS is a very great high school with adorable students, teachers, and staff. I am really going to miss my friends and the good mood of the school. Indiana has such a great community.”
When asked what he would miss the most about being in America, Iago stated, “I’m gonna miss Sheetz a lot because Sheetz is dope. I loved stopping in there after track meets. I’m gonna miss my track team and everything I experienced with them. Also, I’m going to miss my host brother Joshua Mbogo and the other foreign exchange students.
Although leaving is going to be sad for the students, they are also looking forward to heading home. Marie expressed, “I am really excited to see my family and friends. I’m also excited to tell everyone about my experiences with America and Indiana, and to explain the differences in culture.”
Iago also noted, “I’m excited about seeing my family and friends again. I’m also excited to see my track team back in Spain because they’ve all gotten better and I can’t wait to see how they’ve improved. Starting my senior year in Spain will be exciting because I will get to see how my experience in America will affect my learning.”
Marie’s favorite memories of IHS include, “Definitely the football games, they were very fun even under the rain. I really enjoyed Prom and THON as well.”
Iago was asked the same question and stated, “Prom was so much fun because it was exactly how it is in the movies, and we don’t have that in back in Spain.”
The students were eager to leave a message behind for IHS. Marie remarked, “Thanks IHS for having us and letting us leave with the most fantastic experiences of our lives. We will remember Indiana and this year for the rest of our lives.”
Iago expressed, “Thank you for being welcoming and accepting, and for keeping an open mind. You all made it feel like home and I will miss you all.”
IHS is sad to say goodbye but wishes these students the best of luck on the rest of their journey.
[Photo by Owen Dougherty]
Photo Caption: Foreign exchange student Marie Tournant hangs out with some friends in the senior cafe.
Emma is a junior and a second year reporter for the High Arrow. She believes it is important to provide the school with trustworthy news because journalism’s impact is greater than pieces of newsprint.