• December 4You never fail until you stop trying

  • November 1Wrestling takes 1st in Seward, King of the Mountain Duels

  • October 18If you are a driver to the school please come and register your vehicle with Mrs Humphreys in the front office.

Experiences from Exchange Students

Lizzy Seyer, Journalist

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Houston High was honored this 2017-18 school year to have three foreign exchange students who get to experience the difference between school in their home country and school  in the United States.  Nuttakit Kanjanapoom, known to HHS students and staff as “Dragon,” is a senior visiting from Pattani, Thailand. Semjon Lojer is a sophomore from the city of Darmstadt, Germany.  Lastly, from Dasmarinas Cavite, Philippines, is Riesen Caballero, a sophomore.


When comparing Houston High to his school at home, Dragon firmly said, “School is not like this.”  On some days, he had nine classes and on other days he had eight. His school had approximately 1000 students, and his school had about 40 per class.  


As for life here compared to at home, Dragon could drive a motorcycle when he was 15 years old.  He got to hang with his friends more, and he didn’t have as many rules as compared to here.  He had more privileges at home, but is still enjoying it here. So far, he really likes traveling around the state. “I like everything in America and everyone, and I also miss everyone at home.”


Semjon Lojer attends a small private school with a student population of about 100 students. “The school is very easy here. The school system in Germany is less about getting good grades, but the school in Germany is more about getting the knowledge, so it’s more difficult.  It’s the English, here, that is more difficult for me.”  


Reisen Caballero came to HHS in October from the Philippines. Reisen is technically not a foreign exchange student because his family moved  here, “Our culture is very different from yours. We have to wear uniforms and name tags. We don’t have whole days of school,” Caballero said.   His high school class size average was between 70-105 students.


Foreign exchange students are brought to the Mat-Su through the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.   Candidates are 15-19 years old and are leaders in their schools and communities. Room and board are provided, as well as any school fees. Each program varies, but students are usually responsible for: knowing the language, round-trip airfare, travel insurance, travel documents, spending money, and any additional travel or tours.

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Experiences from Exchange Students