The student news site of Manhattan High School

The Mentor

The Mentor

The student news site of Manhattan High School

The Mentor

Include Everyone From Everywhere

Hunter Flagg

Manhattan High’s clubs consist of being big and very involved with people only at the high school or their parents, such as TRIBE, FCCLA, HSU,FSU, clubs that only include one group of people.  The AFS club chooses people nationwide to be apart of it, not just one school, city or even state but students from all countries!

Manhattan High school hosts a club called American Field Service. When it’s spelled out, it doesn’t sound as interesting. Everyone knows that AFS has to do with exchange students but it goes deeper then that. The head of AFS, Geankopolis Freyja says, “It started in WW2 as a way to promote peace and international connectivity through international relations and understanding,” AFS sponsor  Geankopolis Freyja says,  “and it’s a in for profit organization based out of New York City.”

“In New York City, they host and match students that want to come to the United States and have an experience abroad around the country,” Geankopolis said ,”This year we have 10 students at Manhattan high for students that come here internationally and come here that’s fully funded by the government…it’s to promote cultural exchange and peace.” Geankopolis also said ,”I got involved in AFS because I’m passionate about international education and exchange and I believe that by getting out of your own sort of bubble and your own comfort some that you really gain perspective and understanding that the world is really small and that we are all so interconnected and we’re all people living in this planet. Language might be something that divides us but there’s so much more that connects all of us.”

AFS students come from all around, almost all 32 countries, so not just a few. Manhattan High students who are AFS members can potentially go to other countries as exchange students, but there are many other activities. The chapter hosts events about once a month, like bonfires or lake trips, as well as the chance to learn about different countries.

“But also to know that exchange students are just like normal everyday students But also because we like get to see other places and try foods from other countries” Borthwick says,“you get to learn about there school differences and different ways or traditions.”

“We share different traditions and what it is like to be a teenager here in Kansas and how we have fall traditions such as Halloween and a lot of these exchange students don’t have that so we like to introduce them to new experiences such as that and a opportunity to share the differences between what we do and what they do.” Geankopolis said.

“AFS is to make sure exchange students feel welcomed and to make them feel more at ease,” Rebekah Borthwick AFS president said, “You know if you were to go somewhere out of the country you would want someone to be there for you and that’s what we do in AFS for these students.” Borthwick says.

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