Students arrive for first exchange with South Korean school
May 17, 2019 – Edina High School (EHS) students, their families, and administrators welcomed 18 students from Andong Schools in South Korea last Saturday. These students will be experiencing Edina life with their host families and students for two weeks, and next fall, the Edina students who hosted the South Korean students will travel to Andong, staying with their brother/sister families and attending school there. Andong Schools and EHS formally became sister schools back in November 2018, which opened up opportunities for an exchange program for students.
After a long flight over, the South Korean students met the students and families at the high school on Saturday night for a Welcome Reception and potluck. This gave the students the chance to meet each other and start making connections. Now that the week has started, the students from Andong have been attending classes with their host brother/sister and getting a taste of life at EHS.
The South Korean students noted some changes between high school life in America and high school life in South Korea. “You have lots of shops in your school,” noted one of the students, referring to the Hornet store and the variety of café and lunch spots available to students.
“We don’t have vending machines in our schools,” said another. “People don’t eat and drink in class.”
The Andong students also explained that Edina students have more access to personal devices, such as their laptops, tablets and phones. “We turn our phones in to the teacher at the beginning of class,” stated one student.
Academically speaking, they noted that even though there is subject overlap with what they study, the language barrier does make it difficult. “The terms are different in the classes we take in Korea, which makes it harder.” However, there has also been some new classes to try, such as ceramics, which one of the boys shared was a lot of fun.
The group is participating in a variety of activities around Edina and the Twin Cities, including ice-skating, the MIA and the Mall of America. A Twins game and the Current Jam concert were mentioned as two highlights for the Andong students. “I can’t wait to take in a major league game,” said one of the students.
Overall, the group seems to be enjoying their time in Edina and want to absorb what they can. One of the students presented his goal for the experience. “I really just want to take in the activities and gain experience in the American education system, since it is different than the Korean education system,” he said. “I want to gain more information from this trip.”
Follow along with the experiences of these students by liking and following Edina Public Schools on social media.