Navigating the foreign exchange program during a global pandemic


Haley Cowan

From left to right: Maximilien Elineau From France, Marina De La Usada From Spain, Kerman Iguiniz From Spain

With all the crazy stuff that has been going on around the world this past year, it’s hard to imagine what it would be like to travel across the country during this time.

Lynn Kim from Korea

We were uncertain if our foreign exchange program would continue with the Covid-19 pandemic going on.  We were surprised to learn that we currently have six foreign exchange students at the Prep from all around the world.

“Our foreign exchange kiddos actually were delayed for quite some time,” Principal Chris McComb said.

Before the foreign exchange students came to school they had to go through a mitigation process through the ETC.

Hector Hernaiz from Spain

“While the students are in our country ETC is responsible for every aspect,” Bob Jones, the foreign exchange director said. “To make sure the student’s health, safety, and well-being is okay.”

The ETC makes sure paperwork is in line, and a carefully selected family is ready to welcome and host the students from the time they get to the U.S. until the time they leave. ETC is one of few organizations still allowed to continue the program with the pandemic going on, so the school is fortunate.

The exchange students seem to be fitting in well and enjoying their stay so far.  

“It’s amazing because it’s a new life to be here and I love this experience,” exchange student Gaspard Jakubowicz said. “It’s very cool to be here.”

Gaspard Jakubowicz from France (Haley Cowan)

We are glad to have our foreign exchange students at school and being able to learn about them and their culture.