Updated 10/07/2008 03:02 PM
Foreign exchange student shares his experiences
Meet Alan Scott, a foreign exchange student from Ireland who is staying with a host family in Saratoga Springs and going to Doane Stuart School. This is all part of a foreign exchange program that is now up and running again between the two countries.
"So we thought this connection we can start upon and we can bring our experiences from Northern Ireland over to America, so basically through that, that's why I'm here," said Scott.
The program offers, of course, a chance for Alan to experience a little American culture while continuing his education and interestingly, this all got started through a member of the host family.
"The story actually began with my son Will. He came home from school, from Doane Stuart, and he said that they were going to start up the foreign student program from Belfast, Ireland," said host family mom Betsy Cannon.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
And now Alan and Will are even making music together and his connection with others goes beyond his temporary home. He's making friends at Doane Stuart as well.
"Everyone's really nice. They're all coming up shaking your hand. They really want to meet you, enthusiastic about it. I can only be the same back because they're that nice," said Scott.
Becoming a foreign exchange student certainly has it's rewarding experiences, but it can also take a little getting used to, not just on the class curriculum, but through understanding the difference in approach to education in general. Northern Ireland schools tend to be more exam oriented.
"We, on the other hand, offer many, many more electives and opportunities for students to take on special projects and, in a sense, demand a lot more of students, perhaps in seminar classroom settings, than would happen at their home school," said Doane Stuart headmaster Dr. Richard Enemark.
And while an education is always important, there's other lessons to be learned
"Trying to spread tolerance and understanding of peoples background. So with that and just the fun I'm having as well, it's just unreal. It's something that anyone gets the chance should go for," said Scott.
All in a home away from home.