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Ana Naerby

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Photo by Trenna Kaiser, Blue Print

Azim Halnespesov

The difference between Norway, Sweden and Craig, Colorado is very surprising for foreign exchange student, Ana Naerby. Norway is a very central city and it's a surburban town. The schools in Sweden teach one subject all day. For example, on a Monday, a student would have math. On Tuesday, the student would have science. They have to spend a required five hours with each subject. Swedish schools do most of their work on personal laptops. They do all their bookwork online. In Sweden, they don't have tardies. "If you are late, it's your own problem," said Naerby. Her school requires at least ten hours of physical education a week. So she participates in a Swedish sport called handball. It's similar to soccer, but you are allowed to use your hands.

Colorado is also very different from the viewpoint of Azim Halnespesov, who has also been to Arizona. Schools in Turkministan require a student to take eighteen classes. They are also required to wear uniforms. "In my city, we have a lot of taxis, but here in Craig you either have to get a ride or walk," said Halnespesov.

Counselor Paula Duzik believes that having foreign exchange students is a benefit to MCHS students. "A lot of our kids are similar and we don't have a whole lot of diversity. It's nice to have kids exposed to different cultures," said Duzik.

The way the foreign exchange program works is simple. Private exchange companies come visit either the school or the host family that had previously signed up with the program and interview them. If they pass, they ask if the family would like to house an exchange student. However different these places may be, the foreign exchange students are still just regular teens like any of the rest of us.

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