Exchange students experience US culture


Angel Villegas  and Unay Oritz

Akins has two exchange students this year. Marie L’Hotllier and Natsuki Horie. Marie comes from France and Natsuki comes from Japan. To help students get to know them, The Eagle’s Eye decided to interview them.

Marie L’Hotllier

EE:What made you want to study abroad

Marie: I want to discover a new culture and, find something different than your friends like, learn a new language discover a new culture, and lots of things. I wanted a new experience.

EE:What was your hometown like? How’s it different from here?

Marie: So it was a little town, so like we know each other ,it’s not a big town like Austin. In my town, we walk, and we take the bus. We never take the car.

EE:What are some differences in the school system here and the one in your hometown?

Marie: The day is longer,so it depends each day. On Monday, you can finish at 4 pm. Some days, you can finish at 6 pm. it’s never the same hours. If a teacher is not here, you don’t have to go to the class. We also don’t choose our classes

EE:They choose them for you?

Marie: Yeah, it’s all the same for all students. And in 11th grade you can choose three subjects which is like basic subjects just like physics and math

EE:What is something interesting that you found here that you will go back to your hometown and tell people about?

Marie: We don’t have any homework.

That might just be an Akins thing, like other schools get homework.We really have yellow school buses. We have prom, it’s like real. It’s not a movie thing.

EE:So you think all these things are like, just movie things like it didn’t actually happen?

Marie:I don’t know. It looked like a movie. I don’t know how I can explain that. Everything is also bigger.

EE:What advice would you give to other students who want to travel abroad?

Marie: Learn the language, like learn a lot of the language before you go because the first month you understand nothing. You’re just like, like “yes”, all the time.Just learn the language and hear, like listen.

EE:What is the best food you’ve had? Here?

Marie: Funnel cake. Nerds. And Yeah, I love the nerds. I also like Chick Fil A because of the sauce.

Natsuki Horie

Natsuki Horie

EE: So how is education here different compared to your hometown?

Natsuki: School is very different, like in Japan you don’t choose by junior high school and in high school, I had to kind of choose classes, but not every class. Almost every classes are same like same classroom. So we have, like, we have classmates and we study together and classmate you know, like this. For example, we move each class, right? We don’t move in the same class and study together, like whole day.

EE: So it’s with the same people.

Natsuki: Same people yeah. So, my high school, especially in my classes are the same three years, same classmate, same classroom. There’s not a big difference.

EE: What’s it like being in Japan?

Natsuki: So if I go to school, everybody walks or take the bus or the train, we don’t take school bus. We don’t have a school bus. Then we self study.At the school we we do club activity. Maybe same like here.

EE: So you’re just walking instead of riding the bus?

Natsuki: High school is not mandatory in Japan. In my case, I had to walk to the train station and take the train for like 10 minutes and have to walk again to school. So it takes like one and a half hours to school.

EE: Why did you choose to study abroad?

Natsuki: First is to improve my English skills because Japanese English education is so bad you know, like only reading and listening. That’s why we don’t we don’t study speaking. So I wanted to speak a lot of English. That’s why I came here. And I wanted to know the American culture. I was also introduced about like, Japanese culture here. I wanted to introduce somebody to my Latin American friends

EE: You wanted to introduce Japanese culture here to like your friends.

Natsuki: Exchange culture, American culture, Japanese culture. And I also (wanted to) compare between American culture and Japanese culture.

EE: What’s something interesting that you learned while being here?

Natsuki: Well, first, English And, like here in the school.We can choose every class and I can make a lot of friends. Photography or digital media was good to learn about. Cause we don’t study abroad in high school. If we study, I have to go to a university in Japan.

EE: What advice would you give other students that want to study abroad?

Natsuki: The first is to be brave. Every people only speak first language. And, yeah, in my case, like Japanese people, every Japanese person is very shy. So yeah. First, I came here, kind of shy. I was shy Yeah. So don’t be afraid,make a lot of friends and go for more other language skills, and other communication skills. Have a good experience. Because studying abroad is good because if I can speak other language, maybe I can get good job like that 10 years in the future.

EE: What was your favorite food from here?

Natsuki: Mac and cheese and Hamburger also. The large size for food is very big. In like, yeah, like Starbucks or, like cup size is very big difference. Japanese standard size is, maybe like an American small size. So yeah, favorite food is mac and cheese and hamburger.