It’s a Small World

Its a Small World

Hallo! As another summer comes to an end and the new school year rolls around, Ashland is lucky enough to have six foreign exchange students joining AHS and the community. This collection of international students has come to Ashland through the Rotary, International Cultural Exchange Services USA (ICES), Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI) and AFS Intercultural Exchange programs, and their additions to our school are incomparable. We are thrilled to welcome them with open arms into our school, town and lives. Sayonara!


Erika Kalmeyer



Age: 16 years old

Grade: 12

From: Tikøb, Fredensborg, Denmark


Ashland is different from Denmark because…

Ashland is much smaller. There is a lot of theater, music, and we are surrounded by mountains. In Denmark, it is very flat.


Why did you want to go on exchange?

I want to make new friends, and I want to celebrate my first Halloween and Thanksgiving, I wanted to have new experiences.


How are teenagers different in Ashland than in Denmark?

People in Denmark are much more reserved. Everyone here is very friendly.


What kind of new foods have you enjoyed?

I had my first donut, my first American burger, and my first American pizza. Everything is much bigger here.


If you could be an animal, which one would you be?



Katharina Hohm

Grade: 10

Wurzburg, Germany


What was your first impression of America?

The San Francisco airport—I don’t like it…American airports are a lot less structured than German ones.


What have you done so far in America?

Hiking, homework, and violin lessons.


What are your hobbies?

Playing violin, swimming, and maybe Ballroom Dance Club.


What is your favorite food from home?

Spinach lasagna


What is your favorite new food in America?



If you could be any animal, what would you be?

A shark—that is the mascot for my swim team back home.



Lea Hurni

Grade: 10

From: Switzerland


What was your first impression of America?

New York, two years ago—it was great.


What have you done so far in America?

Camping and river rafting with my host family.


What are your favorite activities?

Hip-hop dancing, snowboarding in the winter and hanging out with friends on the weekend.


What is your favorite food from home?

Rösti, a traditional cooked potato dish.


What is your favorite new food in America?



If you could be any animal, which would you choose?

Lagotta…an Italian waterdog



Seiichiro Hagiyama


Age: 16

Grade: 11

From: Himi in the Minato prefecture

If you could be an animal, what would you be?
A hawk.

What is your favorite thing about America so far?
Ryan (host brother) and chocolate milk.

Do you play sports?
Soccer and basketball.

What (video) games do you like to play?
Modern Warfare 3 and Dragon Quest

Japan is different from America because…

American people enjoy Japanese people.

What does you name mean?

What activity do you want to do while you’re in America/Ashland?
I want to go to a shooting range.

How do you like about Ashland?
I like to see deer everywhere.


Mengdi Zha


Age: 16 years old
Grade: 11
From: Beijing, China.

Why did you decide to go on exchange to America?

I wanted to have a new experience. Meeting new people and experiencing the culture has been great.

Beijing is different from Ashland because…

Beijing has subway, a lot shopping malls, terrible traffic and so many people.
Ashland is very relaxed and comfortable. The sky is beautiful, the scenery is beautiful and it is peaceful.

What is one thing you can do in America that you can’t do in China?
I can dye my hair (she recently dyed some of hair blue).

What is Chinese schooling like?
Schools are strict. Teachers switch classes while the students stay in the same classroom.

What are a few things you have done while in America?

I went rafting, jet boating, and swam in the lake.

How long have you been learning English?

Since I was 9 years old.

If you could be an animal what would you be and why?
I would be a dog, because they are loyal and can be satisfied by food.