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Tech High forms Culture Club

Exchange students get facials and nails done as part of program

April 26, 2010|By JANET HEIM
  • Youjin Kweon, left, Megumi Ito and Noemie Deom get manicures from Washington County Technical High School cosmetology students Ta-Lia Nolford, Shawnice Blowe and April Maloff at the school.
Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

Their journeys to Washington County Technical High School are as individual as they are, but their motives are similar - to study in the United States, learn more about the culture and improve their English language skills.

With eight foreign exchange students at Tech High, teacher Kristin Eberle wanted a forum that would encourage local students to interact with the visiting students.

Eberle, who teaches world history and sociology, had five of the eight students in class this year and wondered what she could do to ensure they had a good experience. That's how Culture Club was formed.

"It's the first year for Culture Club. It started as a lark, getting my American students to develop relationships with the foreign students," Eberle said.

The group meets after school on Thursdays and do a variety of activities, such as duckpin bowling. The exchange students attend when they can get rides home, as do some of the other Tech High students.

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To recognize the nationalities of the visiting students, the Visual Communications students created a display featuring a photograph of each exchange student, their names and the flags from their countries of origin.

On April 8, in celebration of the diversity of Culture Club, the junior cosmetology students in Marie Bikle's Theory to Application class invited club members to an in-school field trip. They were treated to manicures, pedicures or facials after school.

The doorway to the cosmetology area was surrounded with the words of greeting in each of the exchange students' native language.

"It lets us work on people of different cultures, races. They're all really cool," said cosmetology student Stephanie Harden, 16.

For most of the exchange students, it was their first time being pampered in such a way.

"My students love making other people feel good," Bikle said.

Noemie Deom of France said she had never had a manicure, but decided to add it to the list of new things she tried while in the U.S. She said every day is different and she's constantly discovering new things.

Youjin Kweon of South Korea said she was quiet when she arrived in the U.S. because of her limited English, but has opened up as her language skills have improved.

She has enjoyed making new friends and said she is torn between staying here and returning to South Korea.

This year's exchange students at Washington County Technical High include:

o Irma Khutsidze - Republic of Georgia

o Marat Duishonaliev - Kyrgyzstan

o Megumi Ito - Japan

o Noemie Deom - France

o Sojeong Kim - South Korea

o Tanzila Aslovona - Tajikhistan

o Umitey Koralasbayeva - Kazakhstan

o Youjin Kweon - South Korea

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