Foreign exchange trips offer new experiences


Photo used with permission from Evelynn Riley.

Students pose outside the Notre Dame during the France trip over spring break on Apr. 2, 2019.

Exceeding over 10 years with the same partnership school, FHS continues to provide students with the opportunity to study abroad.

FHS’ foreign exchange programs give students the chance to experience other countries while using their knowledge of the language they have been studying throughout their high school years. The French and German departments offer the exchange every other year while the Spanish department does not due to not having found a partnership school yet.

French teacher and one sponsor for the French exchange, Dahnya Chop explains it takes place every other year during the odd years while the German exchange takes place every even year.

“Students host a French student at their house for ten days and show them the high school and what American life is like, then later you get to experience their culture and live with them the following spring,” Chop said.

German teacher and sponsor for the German exchange Robin Geisinger explains their exchange is about ten days longer than the French exchange due to different guidelines.

“Our organization is non-profit, so our school gets advantages when traveling,” Geisinger said.

In order to participate in the exchange students must be participating in the third year of their language the year the exchange takes place.

Chop explains if students are interested in participating in hosting a student, they are not required to live with their student. Although if students do not want to host an exchange student but want to visit France or Germany the chances of being able to stay with a family are slim due to the fact they may already be paired up with another family.

“If the hosting works out well, you get first pick to go on the trip and stay with the family you originally hosted,” Chop said.

Chop also explains after every trip students come back and write what their experience was like while in the other country.

“Every year we get comments from students explaining how much their listening comprehension has improved and that they have made a lifelong friend,” Chop said.

If students are interested in participating in the exchange, applications are available one year before the exchange takes place. Prices can range around $2000 for tickets, then once there, everything else is paid for.

For anyone interested in getting involved in the foreign exchange program they can email Chop and Geisinger for more information.

“The exchange program through Fishers gives students a true feel of the other culture rather than just living out of a suitcase,” Geisinger said. “Experiences like these help students find who they are and what they are interested in.”