Exchange students share their experience


Rylan Beye

Exchange student Alen Fijita flexes his muscles in the gym.

Most Park High students are used to the way school is taught in the United States. Our two foreign exchange students Alen Fujita from Japan and Rasmus Bless from Germany know first-hand how different it can be. Both students said school is so different, Rasmus mentioning that the teachers in Germany are more “engaged” and here there is more “sitting down and writing”. Alen expressed that the form of education is much better here than in Japan.

Neither student knew what to expect when first coming here. “It was like a movie when first here,” Said Rasmus. Allen is from Japan and has been here for six months, much longer than Rasmus. He said, “I struggle because there are no foreigners here”. He was not expecting Montana to be so cold and said if he was to move to the United States he would not come back to Montana.

Allen’s favorite memory here so far has been homecoming and formal. “There is no party like that in Japan.” He talks to his family about once a week. He doesn’t miss them and is dreading going home but is glad that he has the opportunity to come to the U.S. The biggest struggle that he encountered was the language barrier. His host family is very patient with him, and his English has grown and gotten better upon arrival.

Rasmus said that he expected Montana to have lots of “cowboys”. He was most excited for basketball. He has worked very hard at basketball and is excited to start playing with the team. His best memory so far was when he first arrived at the airport and his host family stood there to greet him with signs.

Neither of the students want to leave and are very grateful for how welcoming the community and their families have been since their arrival. Alen chose to have this opportunity so that he could see the U.S. Rasmus came because of the basketball program. They both leave just after the semester ends but wish to eventually move and live