Around the World and Back


Global Ambassadors programs across Loudoun County host delegates from all over the world

For 10 days, students from all over the globe came to the United States to learn about our country, improve their English, solve an issue in their country, and enjoy some classic American activities.

Each Loudoun County school participating had a few countries that their students were from; and this year, Potomac Falls hosted foreign exchange students, or delegates, from Norway, the Netherlands, and South Korea. These students went on field trips, shadowed their host student’s classes, and at the end of the week, they attended the “Glow Dance” at Dominion High School.

Junior Gwendolyn Miles hosted a student from the Netherlands, Laura Vermeer. “It’s been an awakening that there is more outside of the United States, and it’s been cool to hear about other people’s experiences and to learn they’re just like us,” said Miles. “It was surprising how similar we are. We have a lot in common and it’s very easy to talk to each other.”

Vermeer agreed, “I made new friends. I don’t know if that counts of learning?”

Junior Kimberly Snyder was excited to experience her favorite American pastime, a baseball game, with the two students she hosted, Lina Haugen from Norway and Kris Smulders from the Netherlands. “My favorite thing we’ve done is go to the Nats game in DC. I’m really into baseball, especially the Nats, and it was so much fun to show that to them and teach them all the cheers,” said Snyder.

Snyder’s delegate Haugen enjoyed improving her English. “Since I am a native Norwegian speaker and speak English only in class, sometimes finding the right words in English can be difficult, especially when I am tired or stressed. Sometimes I get confused over what people say, but most of the time, I understand,” said Haugen. Her favorite thing to learn was the slang that American teenagers use.

One event the delegates did was to make an “Action Plan” poster, which was a solution to a current issue from their home country. Vermeer focused on the children refugees in Netherlands, while Haugen choose to focus on the adults.

“We are planning to collect comics, like Donald Duck, and give them to refugee centers to help children learn Dutch in a fun way. We know Dutch can be a hard language to learn,” said Vermeer.

Haugen focused on integration of adult immigrants into Norwegian society “because they are often looked over,” she said.

The students returned to their home countries on April 18.