Humans of Sartell: Foreign Exchange Students

This Week on Humans of Sartell, we got to see what it is like to do an exchange in America from students from all over the world!

Emily Anderson
Our first Foreign Exchange Student is Alexander Sorg from Germany.

Alexander Sorg is from Germany and has been in America for seven months. He has many years of English under his belt because his school back home teaches them English. In Germany, Alexander would be a junior but in America, he is a senior. His exchange so far has been chill, and he enjoyed being in football, wrestling, and track. Alexander is staying with the Snyders (not Mr.Snyder). Alex communicated with the Snyders through facetime before getting to America.

Alexander’s favorite memory would be at his last wrestling match. In Germany school is entirely different; they have twenty-minute breaks and more freedom during school. Alexander attended homecoming but was not able to go to Winter Wonderland because he was out of state.

Alexander has enjoyed Marty Anderson’s company and class. All of the classes Alexander has taken or is taking have been extremely easy for him  School back home is hard; this is why Alexander enjoys attending school in America. One thing that confused Alex when he came to America and found weird is, Americans tend to care about the tiny little things that normally wouldn’t be noticed by others.

Emily Anderson
Our second foreign exchange student, Andres Latorre, from Spain.

Andres Latorre is from Spain and has been in America for several months now. So far his exchange has been good, and he has enjoyed being in a different culture. The family that is hosting Andres is the Dumonceaux’s. Their host family has the opportunity to go to Mexico and Andreas has claimed that trip to be his favorite memory so far.

Andres has gone to multiple football events, both at Sartell and at St. John’s University. Out of all the teachers he has had,  Mrs.Benson would have to be his favorite. Benson loves having exchange students every year, and Andreas loves how open she is with each of the exchange students.  

Back home in Spain, Andreas heard some stereotypes of Americans that they love their fast food restaurants and food in general. He has treated many different kinds of American food but Texas Roadhouse would have to be his absolute favorite! He also found that he thinks wearing pajamas to school is a little weird.  Back in Spain, wearing your pajamas to school would be unacceptable.


Emily Callan
Wenbo Xu is our third Foreign Exchange Student from Japan.

Wenbo Xu is from Japan and would just have started his Junior year back home but Wenbo is almost done with his junior year! He attended an all boy school back home and has loved having both guys and girls at school every day. Wenbo’s host family is the Pacsuns.  

One of his favorite trips so far was going to Arizona, he is someone who loves being warm and not enjoys all this snow in Minnesota lately! He misses the warm weather back home in Japan and the food as well.

Wenbo has attended multiple school events like the homecoming dance and game. He has also gone to Winter Wonderland and the Christmas Choir Concert which he enjoyed very much. The trend for the level of easiness of school has been extremely high for all of the other students compared to school back home which was usually really hard for them. AP Psychology would have to be Wenbo’s favorite class he has had so far. He also enjoys having Freddie as a teacher.

One thing that he thought was unique about Americans when he first got to America was how much Minnesota Nice was showing up everywhere. People here tend to be more extroverted and outgoing compared to Japan. In Japan, everyone is an introvert for the most part and only talks when it is absolutely needed in school.

Wenbo had the opportunity to join the Sartell High School’s basketball team for a few weeks and loved every second of it. In his elementary school years, he played basketball, but it was never just for fun, his team was always focused on competition not just having fun with their teammates.

Emily Anderson
Our last Foreign Exchange Student from Italy is Luna Escalona.

Luna Escalona hails from Italy and is set to spend the entire school year here at Sartell. She is 16 years old and should technically be a sophomore, but she has been mostly taking senior and junior classes. Luna has been learning English since elementary school. Luna has very much enjoyed her stay in the U.S. so far, and highlighted that by saying, “I think the people here are pretty much open.” In regards to Sartell, she said, “I really love the environment of the whole school…like pep fests and dances.”

Luna enjoys school in the U.S. because it is incredibly more sociable as opposed to how it is in Italy. She also appreciates choosing her own classes, because in Italy students choose a major at 13 years old (Luna is a science major) and focus on classes in that major.

Luna has had a fun time getting to know her host family, “I just missed home during the Christmas break, because you always stay with the family. But then it was pretty fun because me and my host family went to Florida.” Luna explained how the host family assignment process is completely random, “I just knew they had two small kids, and I don’t have any siblings so I didn’t really know how I was gonna do that but it’s been pretty nice.” She mentioned that her host mother’s father was from Italy so she knew some Italian, which made getting to know her host family that much easier. She said initially it was a little awkward but she has no problem helping around the house and watching the kids from time to time.

There were some stereotypes Luna knew about before coming to the U.S., “Some stereotypes were like junk food, and for the school, everyone thinks of High School Musical…” but for the most part she said, in reality, they do not hold up. She also talked about how people have dinner much earlier in the U.S. and the general attitude towards it is much more relaxed, “In Italy, it’s more of the whole family coming together and sitting down together…” Luna said the biggest change is the transportation, everywhere in Italy is walking distance but in the U.S. a car is a necessity.

Stay tuned for next week’s article, Humans of Sartell: Lunch Ladies/Guys!