Foreign exchange club exchanges foreign experiences


Karim Melek

Students pose with candy from different Latinx countries to celebrate Latinx heritage month.

Karim Melek, Reporter

“Our club’s central focus is on our Foreign Exchange Programs and all the wonderful cultural and language experiences that go along with it. Throughout the year, we learn about new cultures, interact with our international peers, and raise money for our fellow students to experience world travel,” Palatine High School’s Foreign Exchange Club’s website stated.

For many years Foreign Exchange club has been hosting exchange students and going on many trips. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, those trips have been canceled. However, the club has some exciting news.

“We just got approved for trips for the summer of 2023,” said Stephanie Eide, the Foreign Exchange Club sponsor since 2016.  “It’s gonna be Germany, France, and Costa Rica.” 

To go on the French trip you must be enrolled in a “French 3” course or higher. For Costa Rica, all Spanish levels are eligible; however, a language is not required to go on the trip to Germany.

“The students get to stay with host families, and they typically will get to go to language learning classes in the morning,” Eide said. “The second half of class, they usually go out into the town and explore and they’ll get different food and see different places throughout the town.”

Some past activities students have gone on are coffee tours, zip lining, cooking classes, and dance lessons with the locals.

“There’s usually about 5 days of that then we’ll visit different touristy places throughout the country,” Eide said. 

During the rest of the year, Foreign exchange club members have weekly meetings where they play many international games and learn about their history.

“We just have a lot of fun,” Eide said. “It’s a great way to meet people that have similar interests as you. We enjoy languages, cultures, and travel. So we connect that way and we share about our own culture and get to host trips.”

The club has also been hosting exchange students from Germany for the past 35 years.

“Being able to talk to them and help them with their English has definitely been something beneficial even if we can’t do it in person.” said Monika Jurevicius, the Foreign Exchange Club president and member of the club for the past 3 years.

Some events that Foreign Exchange Club celebrates include Hispanic Heritage month and Cinco De Mayo. Club members also go on different field trips during the year, including a trip to Chicago for Christkindlmarket, a German winter market open from Nov. 18 to Dec. 24.

 “It’s just a really open atmosphere and anybody can just be who they want to be without any judgment,” Jurevicius said. “It’s for everybody to bring something in and to learn something and just appreciate the world a little bit more.”

Foreign Exchange Club is always looking for new members to join. They meet every Wednesday in room 283.