Juniors Morgan Izzo, Marlene Schoof and Ryan Fowler study in AP Spanish. New friends like these have helped Schoof’s transition tremendously.
Juniors Morgan Izzo, Marlene Schoof and Ryan Fowler study in AP Spanish. New friends like these have helped Schoof’s transition tremendously.

Learning from new perspectives opens opportunities

Increasing one’s understanding of culture and education is becoming easier every day. From surfing the internet, to visiting museums, there is never an end to how much one can learn. A unique way to expand horizons is studying abroad. Moving in with a new family, in a new country, to a new school is just the first step of most foreign exchange programs. Marelene Schoof, a study abroad student from Germany this year, is involved in a program called EF education first.

“This program is the best because they really care about your well being, health and matching you with your family,” Schoof (‘25) said. 

When choosing a program, students must decide the importance of each factor, whether it’s the host family, social aspects, or educational purposes. Elise Friesen has been a Hereford student since her freshman year, but in the 2022-2023 school year, she chose to study abroad in France.

“I was looking to learn French, because my family is French so I would like to be able to talk to them fluently, and just try something new and out of my comfort zone,” Friesen (‘24) said.

Story continues below advertisement

Friesen described the differences between France’s school system and the school system here in the United States. Not only were the French very focused on their schooling, but sometimes they wouldn’t get out of school until 5 or 6:00 pm. Marlene seems to notice the same type of contrast.

“The schooling is very different here, in my school we didn’t have [elective] classes, we only had 6 classes, picked all by the government. I wanted to learn more about the things I was interested in,” Schoof (‘25) said.

Though foreign exchange programs are all different and expensive, a study by National University of Laos, Laos represents data to show that the benefits from these programs can be extremely rewarding. “Exchange destinations significantly indicate sources of scholarships and partner institutions with which Lao universities have established international cooperation,”

This study is further exhibited by Elise’s experience.

“Everyone was so supportive,” Friesen (‘24) said. “It was just a once in a lifetime experience.” 

As Marlene gets the hang of things here in Maryland, she is taking advantage of her opportunities to take anatomy, studio practice, AP Spanish 5, creative writing, and even to play JV field hockey. Schoof will bring home skills she’s developed here in the US in the classroom, on the field and through new relationships. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

Please make sure that your comment is polite, considerate, and does not use any vulgar or offensive language. We retain the right to delete/remove any comment we find in violation of this policy.
All Hereford Harbinger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *