Foreign exchange students arrive for 2019-2020 school year

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WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Foreign exchange students arrived and are preparing for the start of school just one week from Thursday.

Students from Egypt, Thailand, Spain, South Korea, Israel, Italy and Ghana arrived on Thursday looking forward to their first experience in America.

“My host community and the high school in America it will be a very, very good experience,” Egyptian foreign exchange student Youssef Mahmoud said.

Slin Limchitti is from South Korea and said she hope to exchange cultures with the students in Wichita Falls.

“We came to exchange culture, study, education and interact with them,” Limchitti said.

This new adventure for these students also brings some fear.

“It can be different cultures,” South Korean exchange student Juhye Tak said. “So, nervous making friends. It’s a worry.”

Kontevi Dickson is from Ghana and he said he worries about making friends also.

“I was thinking how I was going to make friends because I’m different,” Dickson said.

First-time host parent Mary Marsden is hosting Tak and Limchitti and she said she is looking forward to the experience.

“It’s very nice to talk and find out different things about their culture,” Marsden said. “I guess I need to learn how to make Gimbap, but we will see how that goes. I’m looking forward to, you know, just trading their customs, traditions, recipes.”

While host homes and families are excited for more international students to come to the US, and some students were turned away because of the lack of host homes.

“We have kids right now that are waiting for a host home,” Marsden said. “We have children that come from all over the world Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Egypt and there’s a lot of them that weren’t able to come because there’s just not enough host homes.”

Host parents like Marsden said they hope others can help and impact lives like these.

As Marsden said, there are students who weren’t able to come because they did not have a host parent. If you would like to become one, click here.

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