Meet the exchange students!

Julian Wan, Online-Editor

27th October, 2022

Arcata High’s exchange students on the senior lawn on a foggy school morning.
(Photo Credit: Julian Wan)

This year, Arcata High School welcomes five exchange students. Their names are Lazarus Onyango, Debi Dorfliger, Laura Laux, Leo Balmongkol, and Alex Rundsag.

Lazarus Onyango is an exchange student from Uganda who got a scholarship from Rotary to study abroad. He commented how he had to adapt to Humboldt weather as soon as he arrived. “In Uganda, I never wore a sweatshirt that much, just normal temperature in Uganda,” Onyango said.

Debi Dorfliger, an exchange student from Switzerland commented that the hardest challenge being on an exchange was finding new friends. ”The first two weeks were probably the worst because I had to eat lunch sometimes alone…but I met some really nice people [at cross country],” Dorfliger said.

She describes the differences of the school system in Switzerland and in Europe.
“We can’t choose our subjects, we can choose like a path: science, languages, arts, or law and economy,” Dorfliger said.

A German exchange student, Laura Laux shared that her experience at Arcata High has been wonderful so far. One thing she found surprising here compared to Germany was the amount of stop signs. “They have less stop signs. I’m so annoyed of stop signs, there’s like a stop sign every corner here,” Laux said.

Leo Balmongkol is an exchange student from Bangkok, Thailand. He explained that the best part about school here is how open each classroom is for student voices and contribution. “School here is very different. They kinda operate from participating…I can raise my hand and or contribute so I like that a lot,” Balmongkol said.

Alex Rundsag, is an exchange student from Stavangar, Norway and has been learning English since he was six years old. He strongly encourages everyone to consider applying to a study abroad program. “Definitely do them. Go on an exchange you only get to do it once in your life, and you will have a lot of fun,” Rundsag said.

To the students, teachers and staff at Arcata High, wave a hello or give them a hi-five when you see them around campus! Let’s all get to know these amazing students and welcome them to our school and community!