BHS welcomes two exchange students


Left: Sarah Becker, Right: Ruth Illamedina pictured wearing their exchange program t-shirts, Nacel Open Doors. The two arrived in America on August 16.

Lola Jecevicus, Reporter

Imagine coming to America from a different country, nervous for what is to come. Stepping into the halls of a new school with hundreds of new faces. Almost every year BHS welcomes exchange students from countries all over the world to experience not only the American lifestyle but the BHS lifestyle. This year Berlin welcomes Ruth Illa Medina and Sarah Becker.

 Illa Medina is from Barcelona, Spain and Becker is from Frankfurt, Germany. The two girls were paired together and hosted by Marta and Keith Yedinak.  

“We chose to host the girls to open our culture to them and also learn about their culture, as well as helping the school learn about different students’ cultures,” Keith Yedinak said. 

Coming to America as a teenager away from home can be difficult, but both of the girls say they are excited to experience America. 

“I like that high school here has sports, and people are actually involved in it. The sports in Spain are separate from the school, school is just for studying,” Illa Medina said. 

The program that lead the two here is called Nacel Open Doors. This program provides students from all over the world different opportunities to travel and learn in new countries. 

“For two years, I saw Tiktoks of the program. My best friend and I decided to take an exchange year to the USA. But she didn’t make it, just me. When I told my parents the first time they thought it was a joke,” Becker said. 

When coming to a new country there are always going to be changes within schedules and lifestyles.

“People usually eat dinner around 6 p.m. In Spain, everything is late. We have lunch at 4 p.m. and dinner at 9 p.m. or even at 11 p.m. So that is one thing that I’m not used to,” Illa Medina said. 

With sports not being incorporated in the schools in many countries, the school spirit at BHS comes as a welcome surprise.

“I love the football games. In Germany I watched the NFL. But it is so much better here in high school because everyone is cheering and I love cheering, ” Becker said. “High school in America is like the movies.”