Welcome the New Students of Sehome

Kalista Martin, Reporter

The foreign exchange students hanging out with two Sehome students during a break.
Names from left to right Cicely Bergsma (12), Linnea DeVange (12), Vicente Strauch (11), Valentina Miranda (11), Matias Rodriguez (11), and Savka Arriagada.


Throughout the year we take in foreign exchange students from all over the world. In the past we have hosted students from France, Chile, Spain, and more. The foreign exchange students are hosted through a sister program in which four students come here and four go to Punta Arenas, Chile. These students are using their summer break to attend Sehome for 3 months before they return and finish their final year of high school back home.


This year’s exchange students are Valentina Miranda, Vicente Strauch, Matias Rodriguez, and Savka Arriagada. Exchange students that want to come to Sehome have to go through a long process. Miranda explained how the four students started to apply last year and how so many students in their school also wanted to come but the program only allowed for four, “I always wanted to come to the US, so when I got the opportunity through the school I took it,” Strauch said.


After speaking to each student they all spoke of how surprising and different the US is. For Vicente and Valentina one of the most surprising things was how big Sehome is. They explained how small their school was and after touring the school they were nervous, but excited. Valentina said, “I just hope I don’t get lost, our school would fit inside the football field.” So far all four students discussed how comfortable they felt here due to everyone’s kindness and warm welcome. The students were pleasantly surprised by the students attitudes

and welcome they received.


One of the biggest differences between the two schools are the classes available for students. Arriagada said, “Our school is boring, we don’t have elective choices at our school. All we have is the choice between music and art class.” A main goal for all the exchange students is becoming as integrated into the school as they can. Most of them have already taken the first steps to become part of the Sehome culture through sports or clubs. The students will be getting their own schedules when second semester starts. As they decide their classes they will be shadowing their host students. The students favorite thing so far is the attitude of the Sehome population, we should keep this up as the students continue their stay here.