Ranger Review

Freshman Hosts Foreign Exchange Student

Elena+Phillips%2C+9%2C+explores+local+flora+and+fauna+with+Serbian+exchange+student+Jelisaveta+Nedeljkovich%2C+11.+%0APicture+Credit%3A+Elena+Phillips+
Elena Phillips, 9, explores local flora and fauna with Serbian exchange student Jelisaveta Nedeljkovich, 11. 
Picture Credit: Elena Phillips

Elena Phillips, 9, explores local flora and fauna with Serbian exchange student Jelisaveta Nedeljkovich, 11. Picture Credit: Elena Phillips

Elena Phillips, 9, explores local flora and fauna with Serbian exchange student Jelisaveta Nedeljkovich, 11. Picture Credit: Elena Phillips

Rhianna Lingle, Ranger Review Reporter

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Foreign exchange students are in abundance at Lewis Palmer High School, however, being a host family for one of these students comes with another set of responsibilities and challenges. Elena Phillips, 9, is hosting Jelisaveta Nedeljkovich, 11, an exchange student from Serbia.

“So far it’s been positive,” Phillips said.  “It’s been nice to get to know someone from the other side of the world and it’s very interesting to see her views on things and the way she grew up; just her lifestyle.”

Language barriers are a challenge that most foreigners deal with regularly. Learning a new language can be stressful, especially when the use of it is necessary to communicate with other people. However, Phillips claims that language issues haven’t really impacted her.

“There hasn’t really been much of a language barrier. She’s very fluent in English and it’s actually pretty surprising because I will mention very complicated and intricate words and she’ll understand me, as well as different phrases and slang that we use.”

Serbia, a country in Eastern Europe, is quite different from the United States in various ways. Nedeljkovich lives on a fruit farm with her family in close proximity to a city. Traditionally, Serbia has been recognized as a country with Western European heritage and customs due to its history with Austria and the Ottoman empire. However, some Serbian customs have roots in Russia. In fact, Serbia joined forces with Russia to fight against Turkey in the 1870s. However, this loose alliance with Russia was tested during the Cold War when Serbia refused to join forces with the Soviets. Despite these disagreements, Serbia and Russia are currently in a free trade agreement, according to worldview.com.  

“In Serbia, they generally have more public transportation and they actually don’t have a school bus system or anything,” Phillips said.

Additionally, the Serbian education is vastly different from ours.

“Their school system, from what I hear, is pretty strict and they have to take exams to get into high school. A lot of the stuff she’s learning now she’s actually learned before at a more advanced level,” Phillips explained.

Having another person in the house, even your relatives, can be challenging to adjust to. Welcoming a stranger into your house and allowing them to live with you is of much greater magnitude. Contrary to initial assumptions, however, Phillips insisted that living with an exchange student has not changed her family life.

“It hasn’t really changed my familial life much, except we have another person in our family. She’s very easy going, which is nice. She’s very willing to help, so sometimes we actually have to stop her from helping all the time.”

Phillips is rather interested in studying abroad, although she is not currently participating in the foreign countries club at LPHS.

“I’d say hosting an exchange student has definitely given me more information on other countries but hasn’t necessarily changed my outlook on the rest of the world because I personally believe that everyone is the same in this world, we just do things differently.”

 

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About the Writer
Rhianna Lingle, Ranger Review Reporter

Rhianna is a freshman at Lewis Palmer High School, and this is her first year writing for a school newspaper. She has been playing the violin for ten years and has a natural inclination for the performing arts, particularly music. A literature fanatic, she is a voracious reader, particularly of classic literature. Her plans regarding college include a major in violin performance and a minor in English. 

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Freshman Hosts Foreign Exchange Student