Weicun exchange students return to Dare County


Principal John Luciano greets Chinese exchange students and student members of their host families.

Jayden Miller, Staff Writer

For the second year in a row, foreign exchange students from China visited the Outer Banks and experienced life an everyday American high school student.

“There were 26 exchange students that visited Dare County,” coordinator and Math teacher Suzanne Pack said. “MHS had eight Chinese students and First Flight High School had 18. Cape Hatteras Secondary School had planned to participate but was unable to do so because of the inclement weather.”

Junior Katherinne Rabanal was a first-time host for the Chinese students. This experience was new and exciting for her, but she took it in stride and ended up forging a friendship over the days she had with her exchange student.

“Nina, my Chinese exchange student, was able to attend my classes and also hang out with my friends after school. Nina saw what a cross country practice was like and got to experience the Homecoming dance,” Rabanal said. “I got to learn about the Chinese culture and customs, even some Chinese phrases. It was a whole new experience and I hope to do it again.”

The Chinese students experienced a new perspective on school life. They attend a boarding school in Weicun, China, where schooling differs in nearly all categories to public school, including in academics and housing. The exchange students got to see how public school works in America and what activities are included in a day.

“They are all part of the same boarding school and when they come here they use it as a learning experience,” sophomore and host Fathom Daniels said.

The home students who volunteered not only got to show their exchange students a day in their school life, but they got to explore various locations around the Outer Banks like Cape Hatteras and the Wright Memorial. While sightseeing, the students and their hosts got to spend time together by eating at restaurants and kite flying on Jockey’s Ridge.

“It was really fun to host my girls, Genny and Judy. We got to do a lot of fun things like go to Surfin’ Spoon and see the sunrise,” junior Emily Pack said.

Not only did the Chinese students get to see life on the Outer Banks, but their tour of America included trips to Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania and New York. After three days here, the students departed Manteo to continue to see and learn about America and its culture.