EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is the third 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.
STEPHENVILLE (January 31, 2016) – Isabelle Dandie grew up in the big city of Adelaide, Australia, but now loves the small town of Stephenville. She lives with Stephenville High School athletic trainer Mike Carroll and his family while she studies at Stephenville High School.
“It’s really different being in a small town because I’m from a big city,” Dandie said. “But all of the people are really lovely. Everyone’s really nice and they all know each other. It’s cool just getting to experience a smaller town.”
Back home Dandie played netball, which she said is similar to American basketball, and softball. At SHS, she likes that there are so many different electives available that are not in Australia. Dandie is enrolled in art and dance.
“I think back home we all have that dream of American high schools and what it’s going to be like,” Dandie said. “[American school] is not that different. I just enjoy school and hanging out. But, there’s a lot more class periods in a day here, which is good, because it shortens it so you can focus more. All of the teachers are really nice- they always help you out. It’s just a really good school environment.”
The biggest challenge Dandie faces at SHS is the differences between Australian and American English. She said in Australia they shorten words, so getting through a normal conversation can be difficult.
“I never realized how much we shortened our words until I got here and was like, “Okay, they have no idea what I’m saying,”” Dandie said.
Dandie came to the United States through study abroad because she loves to travel and had never left the country before. Like many students from foreign countries, she expected American high school to be similar to High School Musical and “happy all the time.” That was not the case, but Dandie has enjoyed herself anyway.
“I’ve made a lot of good friends here and we just love hanging out,” Dandie said. “There’s a lot of nice people here.”