Thanks for cultural experience

Through this letter I would like to thank the people of the Tinton Falls community and everyone at Monmouth Regional High School very, very much for the outstanding kindness and helpfulness with which you treated me during my stay here as a high school foreign exchange student. I am well aware of the additional work that the exchange students mean to you. The fact that you still accept students from other countries is, I think, outstanding.

I learned a lot this year, academically and socially, and also realized that school here in the United States is much more than studying: It is the cultural and the social center of the community. I think that is very good and important, as it gives the students a chance to identify themselves with their school and grow together in one unit.

The clubs are probably one of the things I will miss the most back home. Through the club and newspaper Images, I got the great opportunity to show my art interest. This encouraged me so much. I was so glad to be able to be part of this school and that I was treated with such enthusiasm. I also want to thank the teachers who organized the multicultural performances in April, where I really had the chance to represent my country, on stage.

Last, but not least, I must compliment the high school staff. At the beginning of the year I was surprised at all the rules and the regulations in the school and I thought that it would be very strict during the school day. But even though there are many rules, they just help to bring order in the school and made for a much more relaxed kind of class than I was used to. The teachers were especially very kind to me and helped me where they could.

I know I have been very lucky to be in Tinton Falls and I hope some of the next year’s exchange students can have the opportunity to share their culture with people in this part of New Jersey. My agency is American Intercultural Student Exchange (www.aise.
com) and it could help anyone to be a host family.

Emelie Hakmar

Sweden/Tinton Falls