Photos by Emma Hirschy
By Emma Hirschy, Aviator editor-in-chief
Standing in front of the crowd, Spanish teacher Mrs. Ewoldt announced the 10th annual International Week. Unlike the Hunger Games, names were not picked out of a jar and students were not required to come join the commotion.
Several individuals who attend De Pere High School, used to attend DPHS as international students, and other guests shared their experiences to the crowd from their time spent in foreign countries.
Students learned about the culture and ethics of countries they may not ever get the chance to see. They also were faced with the opportunity to find out if they would like to become a foreign exchange student.
Here are brief summaries of the presentations the Crimson Aviator covered:
Haiti: an unknown nation
Jonathan Cox, a senior at DPHS, worked at an orphanage and school located in Haiti. He became involved in working with the children, who are not as fortunate as the students in the United States, with his church.
Unfortunately, Jonathan was unable to participate in some of the activities Haitians did every day due to the fact it was considered dangerous for him to participate.
He explained to the audience that the government there is very unstable. In fact, the country overthrew the president 32 different times and there were also 2 dictators, he said.
During his time spent in Haiti, Jonathan was forced to cancel his plans in order to stay clear of riots caused by presidential elections.
Another thing he spent his time doing in Haiti was mixing concrete. With this in mind, it is important to remember that Haiti does not have the same technology like America. In other words, Jonathan mixed the concrete for several days by hand.
Overall, Jonathan expressed his unconditional love for Haiti and concluded that he does plan on going back.
The Czech Republic
There were two different presentations in regards to the Czech Republic. One was an option for the entire school presented by DPHS exchange student Vaclav Zeijda and the other was presented by Rodek and Roman who are also international students. Vaclav, Rodek, and Roman all grew up in the Czech Republic and came to America as foreign exchange students.
In both presentations, the speakers described the country as the Heart of Europe. Also, they both explained that Czech people love beer just like Wisconsinites.
Just like other foreign countries, the Czech Republic does not offer school sports to students. In order to play soccer, hockey, or any other sport they wish to play, they must join a club in the area for that sport.
The Czech Republic’s holidays differ from America’s holidays in many aspects. During Christmas, families receive presents from Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve while most American families receive presents Christmas Day from Santa. Their Easter consists of men approaching women and hitting them on their rear end with a willow tree branch. The tradition is thought to bring good health and youth to the women. In return, women give Easter eggs to the men after painting them earlier that day.
Darlar Dorsch, a De Pere High freshman, was born in Thailand and lived there several years until she moved to America with her mother and sister.
While living in Thailand, her school was much smaller than DPHS and was an independent school run by the government.
The main topic she discussed was about how strict schools were in the country. Here was her dress code schedule from that time period:
Monday: Students wore a school uniform
Tuesday: Students wore a school uniform
Wednesday: Students wore athletic clothing
Thursday: Students wore traditional clothing
Friday: Students wore a school uniform
She also went through the wide variety of foods people can eat in Thailand. According to Darlar, Thai food is “super spicy.” Another thing she emphasized was the fact that they do not eat cats or dogs.
China from ancient to modern
A group of DPHS students packed their bags and flew to China for 10 days a while ago.
They traveled to many different cities throughout China to get the best out of the experience. Some of the things they did were seeing the Xian Terracotta Warriors, taking Tai Chi lessons, and biking the city wall in Xian.
One of their biggest challenges was eating the mysterious foods China had. Unable to speak Chinese, the group had difficulties communicating with the waitress and reading the menu. The lady was only able to understand “meat.” Well then they just ended up just ordering “meat.” See the funny thing is, they didn’t know what they were eating. So once they returned to their translator, he informed them that they ate cow stomach.
A student in the crowd asked the group if the pollution was noticeable. Their answer was that it was a little but they were there on surprisingly nice days.
Chi-Lun Wu is a graduate student currently at UWGB. He was born and raised in Taiwan; however, he became an international student in Green Bay for high school and still to this day he is. Why? He jokingly said, “to get away from my family.”
When still living in Taiwan, school for Chi-Lun took place from 7:15 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. It’s not like the average American school week: it went through Monday to Sunday. In Taiwan, teachers are allowed to hit students as discipline depending on their grades, behavior, and whether or not they turned their homework in, he said.
The country is very similar to China; it is technically a part of China. So no, it is not an independent country.
Also, he discussed the serious yet funny stereotypes about Asians. One was that not all Asians get straight A’s and another was that not all Asians know kung fu, he said.