CHI Group Homestay Program students from Miyazaki, Japan are having a wonderful time visiting Olympia, WA. In addition to seeing the beautiful cherry blossoms currently in bloom, the group spent time shadowing American teenagers, volunteering in the community and visiting the State Capitol. They also toured a local elementary school, visited a cider mill and even had time for a little bowling.
CHI Academic Year Program participant Franziska, from Germany, created this great video about her six-month stay in Puyallup, WA. Franzi shares wonderful memories of all that she was able to experience for the first time. Please take a moment to watch her video.
Academic Year Program student Melisa Ersan was recently nominated for Student of the Month at Avanti High School located in Olympia, WA. Melisa, from Turkey, was thrilled to receive such an honor after only being in the US for a few short months.
Avanti High School’s principal Michael Velasquez wrote the letter below letting Melisa’s know of her nomination.
“One of the traits that makes Avanti students unique is INTRA personal intelligence. This means that we are willing to look at our interactions and reflect upon them. We recognize that life is about experiences (and we don’t want drama!) This candidate embodies the Avanti spirit. Her focus is remarkable. She savors and is “present in the moment.” In fact, she crafts every letter in her handwriting as a characteristic font. She is willing to step out of her comfort zone and try new things; dancing in the Nutcracker ballet, learning to play the ukelele, and attending a foreign school 8 thousand miles from home. And because of her mindfulness, she excels. Melisa Ersan is one of those special students that add to the warmth of our school and for this she is recognized as a candidate for student of the month.”
My congratulations once again to Melisa! Best Wishes,
Michael Velasquez, Principal
Melisa in the center with Principal Mike Valesquez and Counselor Claire McGibbons
CHI Academic Year Program student Henning, from Germany, shares this great video where he introduces Washington state as well as South Kitsap High School, located in Port Orchard, WA. Henning is joined by other exchange students who attended South Kitsap High last year including fellow CHI participants Dung Quoc, from Vietnam, Beatrice, from Italy, and Tulga, from Mongolia.
Enjoy this wonderful welcome to Washington and South Kitsap High from a few CHI exchange students!
CHI Academic Year Program students Florence from Australia and Marta from Spain recently took a short trip to the city of Forks, WA with their host moms and sisters. The group traveled to Forks to see where the Twilight books and movies take place. A fun time was had by all!
This summer CHI Group Homestay Students from Okinawa, Japan spent the day volunteering at the Pickering Garden in Issaquah, WA.
The Pickering Garden is owned by the city of Issaquah and all of the food grown in the garden goes directly to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank. Last year the garden produced more than 1,300 pounds of fresh food.
The students learned a lot and also had the opportunity to lend a hand.
Seventeen year old Alan Pavec recently arrived in Olympia, Washington where he will attend high school for the year. A local news source in Belgium shared a feature on Alan before his departure. Here is a translated quote from the article that was published. “It is a project that I have chosen, that I look forward to: discover States, the way of life and culture of the Americans. I will, on the other hand, strengthen the use of English and share the daily life of an American family.”
We are sure Alan is going to have a wonderful year!
CHI’s host families are a diverse group, but one thing they have in common is a genuine desire to broaden their horizons and share their culture with people from around the world. Derik Nelson comes from one of these families.
Derik grew up in Olympia, the capital city of Washington, about an hour south of the Seattle area. He showed a love of music from a young age, and learned how to play the saxophone, guitar, and piano all before the age of 14. He also started writing his own original music, engineering and producing his first two albums while he was still in high school. Throughout this time, his life was enriched by the exchange students that his family hosted through CHI. Derik was just a young boy when his family began hosting, and our relationship with them continues to this day, as they hosted an Academic Year Program student just this past year.
With such an open, unique, and supportive background, Derik was well positioned for success in the music industry. He studied music at USC, and today continues to live and work in Los Angeles, making music and following his dreams. He just recently released his sixth album in 2011, and even has appeared on the hit TV show Glee. His sister shares in his success, working as a photographer and accompanying Derik as a singer. We at CHI are so proud of the entire Nelson family, and enjoy watching all of their accomplishments.
You can learn more about Derik and listen to some of his music on his website, www.deriknelson.com.