Hettinger welcomes two exchange students

After a combined travel distance of 9,889 miles, two exchange students have arrived in Hettinger for the 2016-2017 school year.

Anastasiya Naumenko (L) and Christoph Evers (R) combinded to travel nearly 10,000 miles from their homes in Europe to spend the school year in Hettinger. Naumenko is from Ukraine, and Evers is from Germany. Both have already become very involved with their studies and extra curricular activities at Hettinger High School. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)
Anastasiya Naumenko (L) and Christoph Evers (R) combinded to travel nearly 10,000 miles from their homes in Europe to spend the school year in Hettinger. Naumenko is from Ukraine, and Evers is from Germany. Both have already become very involved with their studies and extra curricular activities at Hettinger High School. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Record)

After a combined travel distance of 9,889 miles, two exchange students have arrived in Hettinger for the 2016-2017 school year.

Anastasiya Naumenko, 16 (from Odessa, Ukraine), and Christoph Evers, 17 (from Lubeck, Germany), said their first experiences of the United States and Hettinger have been great.

“For me it’s really cool, it’s interesting, it’s different,” Naumenko said.

“It’s really cool here,” added Evers.

Neither student had traveled to the U.S., and their first observation of North Dakota was the amount open space there is in the state. Naumenko said you could travel for a week in Europe and see 10 different countries, a feat that’s not possible in the United States, much less North Dakota.

Evers also said he enjoys the pace of life in Hettinger. In Germany he said everything is fast, and everyone is always on the ‘go,’ but in Hettinger, things are a little more relaxed compared to what he is used to.

Both Naumenko and Evers told the Record that they were exposed to their exchange programs a few years ago by educators, and that after sometime they both made the difficult decision to leave their family and home countries for this experience.

“We are young, we must see the world,” Evers said.

Evers is hoping to improve his English, and grow as a person with this experience. Naumenko is hoping that she can bring her experiences in the United States back to her home in the Ukraine, and influence some change.

“For me, the main goal of this program is to become stronger,” Naumenko said. “I think people should do something to improve their community, if [you] don’t like something, you should change it.”

Evers is also hoping to tell his friends and family in Germany what America is really like, because most people feel big cities like New York and Chicago represent all of the United States, when in fact the country is filled with smaller communities, such as the Hettinger area.

Though both hope to gain knowledge and experience while here, they both hope to give their peers some knowledge and experience about where they come from.

“I really love to tell everybody [about Ukraine],” Naumenko said. “And I think I have never been so proud of my country, I’m proud now when I’m telling [about] it.”

Evers said he gets a lot of questions about Germany during Hitler’s reign, and he enjoys answering them because he likes talking about how Germany is today.

“I like to talk about this, because I see a lot of [people] who don’t know much about Hitler and what was German and what is German today,” Evers said. “I think it’s really cool to explain it.”

Both Naumenko and Evers have jumped right in to the American high school experience. Naumenko is participating in volleyball, FFA, and FBLA. Evers is a member of the football team and will join the wrestling squad in the winter.

“I’m really excited about this, because I [have] never tried wrestling,” Christoph said.







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