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Boardman students get firsthand look into foreign countries

November 19, 2018
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

Students at Boardman Glenwood Junior High School's world history classes had a unique experience last Wednesday (Nov. 14). Four visiting foreign students from the AFS (American Field Service) program visited the school and shared what their lives were like.

Visiting Glenwood were Samuele Franceschetti and Federica Delrio, both of Italy, Isabel Morro Tabares from Spain, and Nao Yonezawa from Japan. They held several assemblies at the school to show what daily life was like in other countries.

"We study these countries in history and social studies, and we learn how the countries came to be through wars and conquest," said Glenwood teacher Ian Head. "This program brings us the modern day aspect."

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Boardman Glenwood Junior High School students learned a lot about specific foreign countries last week after four students from an AFS (American Field Service) program visited and told students about their daily lives. Pictured are AFS students Samuele Franceschetti and Federica Delrio, both of Italy, Isabel Morro Tabares from Spain, and Nao Yonezawa from Japan.

The Boardman assembly actually meets a requirement of the AFS program according to AFS-Northeast Ohio Area Team Chapter Chairperson Terri L. Windsor. She said students involved in the program share their lives and counties with others as an attempt to understand others and to encourage World Peace.

The AFS actually began in 1915 as a volunteer ambulance corps. It brought together ambulance drivers as a way of saving lives and learning to get along with each other while doing so. I continued through WWI and WWII. After WWII, it evolved into a student program with the same mission of sharing and understanding each other through an intercultural program.

Windsor said when a foreign student is accepted into the program and expresses a desire to visit the U.S., their profiles are made up and it is up to American host families as to who they will open their home to. In fact, the American family knows all about the student before the student learns about the family they will be part of for anywhere from a few months to an entire school year.

In the case of the four AFS students who presented at Glenwood, Delrio is attending Mathews High School, Yonezawa is attending Struthers, and Tabares and Franceschetti are attending Poland Seminary High School.

During the talk at Boardman, each AFS student got to speak about their observations in the U.S. One thing stood out for Yonezawa.

"There are so many drive-thru things," she said. "Never see that in Japan."

For Tabares, she saw big differences in the food, clothes and transportation.

"The way of life is so different here," she said. "And my winters [in Spain] are hotter. We have like 70 degrees."

She did say her favorite places in the U.S. are Handels and Chick-fil-A.

Franceschetti picked up on a lot of differences.

"Everything here is bigger and wider," he said referring to everything from vehicles to shopping centers and stores.

Delrio added, "There is a lot of cultural mix here that we don't have in Italy."

After the four AFS students finished addressing the Glenwood assembly, the Boardman students were able to ask questions and learn more about modern life in other countries.



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