Five exchange students make their home in Delphi


Angel Prince

From left: Dennis Lucht, Germany; Buddharaksa Phatcharasaksakol, Thailand; Kasia Wojcik, Poland; Jala Schanz, Germany; and Bernardo Ribas-Everling, Brazil.

Jordan Ladd, editor

This year, Delphi is privileged enough to host five exchange students from around the world. In the past, Delphi has hosted students from a variety of places, including Switzerland, Indonesia, Serbia, France, and Japan, to name a few. The exchange students for this year come from all over the world: Brazil, Thailand, Poland, and Germany.


Kasia Wojcik – Poland

Host Family: The Knechtels/Browns

Kasia has always dreamed of coming to America, and when she first found out details of her host town, she was overjoyed. “When I came to America, I wanted to be put in the [Midwest], so I could get a real taste of America. Another thing I wanted was to be in a small town, but close to Chicago. I also wanted to be at a school that had an exchange student from Asia.” Amazingly, all of her wishes came true.

Kasia has loved America so far, and her expectation of Americans being friendly did not disappoint. However, there has been some noticeable differences. “In [my home city], everything is really old. We even have a castle.” Kasia has also noticed a difference in the food. “I just want to eat something healthy,” she responded without hesitation when asked about how she was liking American food. All in all, Kasia is excited to experience America over the course of the year and will enjoy living in a dream come true.


Dennis Lucht – Germany

Host Family: The Wilsons

Dennis arrived in Delphi a few weeks into the school year, and he is happy to be here. Dennis first heard about the exchange program when he watched a video from a girl who had previously traveled to the U.S.A. “So I said, ‘Hmm, that sounds like something I would like to do.’” Dennis searched for more videos, and as he learned more about the exchange experience, his interest piqued.

If you have too many expectations about the country, you will be disappointed.

— Dennis Lucht

When Dennis came to America, he came with no expectations. As Dennis so expertly put, “If you have too many expectations about the country, you will be disappointed. That’s why I have no expectations.” As a result, Dennis has had no complaints about America. He enjoys the food, and even enjoys living in a rural town. Coming from a big city, Dennis says, “You can’t even really compare [Delphi] to a big city. Those two are just [incomparable].” Dennis will definitely learn a lot about small town rural America by living in Delphi this year.


Buddharaksa (Mooham) Phatcharasaksakol- Thailand

Host Family: The Knechtels/Browns

Mooham came to America from a city that has 5 million, a stark contrast to Delphi. As she arrived in Delphi, one of the first things she noticed was that the pollution levels were very different. “In my city, there is a lot of pollution. Here, there is not so much.” Mooham also explained a bit of what Thailand is like. “There, it is a lot more [modest]. We can’t wear bikinis there like you can here in America.”

Another obvious thing that Mooham saw a difference in was the food. “In Thailand, we have rice for [almost] every meal.” In a town where corn and soybeans are the main crop, rice for every meal just isn’t a reality. However, despite the differences of big city and small town, Mooham is anticipating a great year at Delphi.


Jala Schanz – Germany

Host Family: The Nelsons

Coming to America, Jala had heard some of the experiences of previous exchange students, yet she was excited to create her own. One of the first things she noticed in coming here was the school system. “Here, the teachers are more able. They can help you better prepare for the future.” The positive feedback on her teachers was not the only difference that shocked Jala.  “Everyone has a computer here,” Jala noted, saying that in Germany, they use books to complete assignments. Many of the other exchange students agreed with that as well.

There was one more extreme difference Jala noticed. “Many of the kids here work. In Germany, the kids don’t hold a steady job, they don’t have to sacrifice their free time.” However, Jala does think that working better prepares the kids in America for real life. One thing that Jala does miss from Germany is handball, a sport popular there, but not in the U.S. All things considered, Jala is looking forward to having a great year at DCHS.


Bernardo (Ber) Ribas-Everling – Brazil

Host Family: The Kirkwoods

For Bernardo, also known as ‘Ber’, coming to America was an exciting opportunity. Ber comes from Brazil, a country well known for it’s extrovertedness. So in coming to America, he was expecting the general population to be more introverted, yet he was positively surprised. One thing that Ber has noticed as a change from his town is transportation. “Back in [my home town], we walked or rode the bus to get places. Here, you guys drive when you want to go somewhere.”

In South America, the title of Brazilian hangs over Ber’s head. “People will ask me when they find out I’m Brazilian, ‘Hey, can you teach me some soccer?’ I don’t even like soccer!” However, when he arrived in America, he was happy to find out that his nationality didn’t place any sort of expectation on him. Ber looks forward to a great year at DCHS.


DCHS is fortunate to host multiple exchange students almost every year. The exchange program benefits all involved as students here in Delphi can learn just as much from the exchange students as they do from us.