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The Foreign Exchange Student

Jaleicia Staples

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How well do you know Morton West? Did you know we have an abundance of foreign exchange students here at West? Have you noticed them?  Have you notice but were too afraid to ask them about themselves? Meeting new people is fun and exciting you never know who you might meet. Morton has plenty of new types of people you can meet every day. Have you yet to meet the foreign exchange

Federica Ruffin on her way to the states.

students name Federica Ruffini?, a 17 year old a exchange student from Rome, Italy.

Ruffini is here staying with her host family here in Berwyn, Illinois, the Gallardo’s. Ruffini is a very adventurous student, who’s always been infatuated by new people and things always wanted to travel,  “I’ve always been interested in in discovering new cultures, approaching different people and traveling the world. I discovered this possibility thanks to Italian AFS volunteers and my dad. The thing that captured me the most was the possibility to choose just not a state, but many, so you can get picked wherever. They also had scholarships, I won one and that’s why I’m here now ” Ruffini said.

Ruffini is a go getter, she saw an opportunity and seized it. For those who don’t know what the AFS(American Field Service) it is an organization founded in 1915 for those fighting in the war where other cultures could about each other to lesson the tensions of war. find information. Presently AFS is promoting culture exchange for high school and college students.  Ruffini addressed her involvement with AFS, “In order to participate with AFS we had to choose at least 3 destinations to show our willing to know not just one culture, but many. In fact they can choose you for a place that was not your first choice. I chose in this order: The U.S., Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Holland, and Iceland.” Ruffini’s first choice was selected by AFS. “The fact that you can find so many different cultures, landscapes and people here” made the United States Ruffini’s top choice.

The AFS  cultural exchange program places foreign exchange students with a host family in their selected country for one year.
Ruffini indicated, we, the AFS exchange students, write a long essay about us and our family life, hobbies and passions. Also we submitted pictures of ourselves doing several activities. Then AFS send our profiles to  the countries’ AFS affiliates.  AFS USA then matched me with a bunch of families that had similar interests. And then the family chooses which students they want to host.
Ruffini’s host family is the Gallardo family of Berwyn, “I didn’t have any expectations ( as to the host family). I like them though” Ruffini added.

With Ruffini coming a whole different country, with a whole new landscape and environment, she began to talk about some differences she had noticed, “Rome has a really ancient buildings and history, small streets, suggestive atmosphere. But at the same time public transportation doesn’t work as it should and there’s a lot of disorganization. In the U.S., I believe it (public transportation) is more organized. Everything is better and Chicago looks all modern”.

After her selection, AFS contacted Morton West to set up everything for Ruddini’s education here in the U.S.  Morton West students can also be considered for exchange student in another country, by checking with AFS. Mortob West has  severalof foreign exchange students from all over the world. Why not get to know one?

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The digital magazine of J. Sterling Morton West High School
The Foreign Exchange Student