AFS students travel to New York

Kris Long, Staff Writer

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For the first time in program history, students involved in AFS had the opportunity to visit New York on a short exchange trip from March 28 to last Tuesday. Manhattan High has hosted short exchanges from Argentina and China in previous years but have never traveled elsewhere on a short exchange in the past.

On March 21, 35 students from Barker High School, located in a small town in New York about 50 minutes outside of Buffalo, shadowed their MHS student host’s schedules to experience a larger school. Barker’s high school is considerably smaller than MHS, with a graduating class of around 60.

“It was really fun,” junior Jakobi Hackett said. “Both of our schools were really different so it was cool for [them] to see MHS and for me to see Barker.”

There were 22 AFS students embarked on their trip to New York on the morning of  Thursday, March 28, including several exchange students who had not previously had the chance to travel in the U.S. The students were able to experience the different culture of New York and spend time with many of the students from Barker High School while there. AFS students also shadowed their host’s classes on Friday. On March 30, the students were able to visit Niagara falls. Few of the students had ever visited New York or Niagara Falls previously.

According to junior Ainslie Markle, the experience was “amazing.” The students visited both the Canadian and American sides of the falls.

AFS sponsored the trip to give both local and foreign students an opportunity to experience the difference in culture throughout the U.S.

“One thing that we try to work with and develop as a intercultural club is an understanding of people,” AFS club sponsor Tony Wichmann said. “Sometimes with an individual from another country [the difference in culture is] … obvious but just the difference [in cultures] across our country [is significant].”

According to Wichmann, this was a new perspective on U.S. culture for the students and many of them commented that they had never experienced the difference in culture across the U.S. previously.

“I learned that [even within] America, people live different lives,” Hackett said. “New York is just completely different from Kansas, but there’s still similarities between all of us.”

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