March 20, 2018

Meet Foreign Exchange Student Isabelle Burgess

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is the fourth in a multi-part series about Stephenville High School’s foreign exchange students. These students travel from all over the world and study as juniors at the high school.

Rachel Tuggle

STEPHENVILLE (February 8, 2016)- Isabelle Burgess left her home in Adelaide, Australia to experience the world and grow as a person. She loves Texas and has found it to be a lot like home. This semester Burgess is living with the Darby family.

“I looked forward to the people, just like everybody- and their accents,” Burgess said. “I was excited to make friends and do stuff with them. Just go out to the social events and stuff.”

That is exactly what Burgess is doing. Although she is not as involved as she was back home- in netball, volleyball, choir and being a class representative-, Burgess enjoys the SHS Science Club and “just living life.”

“It’s like a movie,” Burgess said. “I just love how it feels like a movie. Everything I see in the movies I get to experience. I think that’s what I love the most.”

Even though Burgess feels like she is living in a movie, she has experienced some difficulties.

“I think the hardest thing was just trying to be my parents for myself,” Burgess said. “Going through that transition was hard.”

Burgess has also experienced a little bit of culture shock in coming to the United States. She expected SHS to be “country.”

“I was expecting cowboys, like a school full of them, but people are just normal,” Burgess said.

Burgess experienced a greater surprise with so many students’ attention to politics and in realizing that Texas does not love US president Barack Obama.

“Back home we think he’s so cool,” Burgess said. “Then, I come here and everybody doesn’t like him!”

When Burgess returns to Adelaide, she will be halfway through her junior year because their summer break occurs during our winter break. The final difference between the US and Australia for Burgess had nothing to do with the cultures.

“I go to an all-girl Catholic school, so it’s very strict, very uniform,” Burgess  said. “I can’t wear makeup and here I can wear as much makeup as I want. I go to school with boys, and I can wear [non-uniform] clothes and everything. I can wear my hair down to school. That’s the best thing in the world!”


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