Imagine being in a foreign country without your family during a global pandemic. How would you feel? How would your family feel with you thousands of miles away? Your family can no longer fly to America to be with you. Your choices are to fly home in a potentially infected plane, or stay here in the U.S., without your family, in such a scary time. Sadly, neither of those options are safe.
OHS has two foreign exchange students that are facing this exact situation.
Katerina (Kate) Hrabalíková, 16, from Olomouc, Czech Republic has been in the US for 8 months. She attended OHS and played for the Lady Devils basketball team. “My family is worried about me but I also have such an amazing host family and they know I’m safe with them,” she says. It was not up to Kate if she were going home or not, this was a decision made by her host family, her parents, and also the Foreign Exchange Student Organization. She says she would prefer to stay in the U.S. for a little longer because she isn’t ready to say her goodbyes. She has loved her time in Owensboro and all of her new friends.
Marcos Barreraa, 15, from Madrid, Spain has been in the US for 8 months. He attended OIA and played soccer for the OHS Red Devils. He had a big role in the success of our Varsity soccer season. Marcos states, “My parents are fine with this virus, they are not scared because I’m with a good host family.” The decision on whether he goes home or stays in the U.S. is between his family and him. A good school, great new friends and his love for Owensboro makes this a tough decision. He really doesn’t want to cut his exchange year experience short.
Sadly, both of them have been sent back to their home countries. They have safely arrived back with their family. OHS/OIA was lucky to have had these friends for 8 months. We will miss them!