Center Grove is not a home to just the students born in Indiana or even the United States. Many students here originate from across the globe, and even if their stay here is only temporary.
Sophomores Ivana Centina from Yukata, Mexico, Roberto Rodino from Galicia, Spain, and Ryan Lee from Daegu, South Korea, are three such students.
Through exchange student programs, these three have come to spend the entire school year at Center Grove.
Their reasons for coming to the United States vary greatly. From scholarships, to familiarizing themselves with the English language, or out of curiosity.
“I want to increase my English, learn more English.” Cetina said.
Rodino has come to the United States with this program because, “I was curious about the classes you can take here, so I took it so I can pass it and get the scholarship,” Rodino said.
Finally, Lee is here this year because, “My family recommended it to me, and it seems like just big fun,” Lee said.
These students quickly understood the differences when coming to our school. Cetina originally came from a private, all-girls, catholic school so the largest differences for her were the female and male student body.
“It is a huge school, and has a lot of students,” Cetina said.
As for Rodino, his original school had a different system in that it was the teachers who would travel from room to room to teach different classes while the students would remain the the same classroom all day.
“I like how it is done there better.” Rodino said.
Finally, the largest difference between CG and Lee’s school in South Korea is that the school day back at his home was sixteen hours long.
“Here it’s shorter and there are many people who play sports after the school day.”
As for Indiana in general, all three students can agree that it is much colder in November around here than where they come from.
“The color changing in fall, we don’t have fall, so the leaves changing and getting colder.” Cetina noted as the biggest environmental difference between Indiana and back home in Mexico.
The students have also experienced varying success in making new friends, Cetina made her friends during the Spanish Club’s pumpkin carving whereas Rodino had many of his friends introduced by his older brother. Lee made his friends from the many classes he has taken.
“I have the same classes with them so I started to talk with them, make some communication with them, and we become friends.” Lee said.
All three of the students are looking forward to completing their sophomore year. Rodino is looking forward to the coming year.
“I would like to stay here for as long as I can,” Rodino said.
Regardless, these three students are here to stay for the rest of the school year, may it be a memorable and enjoyable year for them and all other exchange students at our and any school in Indiana.