Adventures in Roslyn, WA
On October 27 and November 3, FIUTS brought two groups of UW international students to Roslyn, Washington, for a one-day cultural exchange with high school students and local community members. UW students from China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Latvia, Mexico, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand engaged in conversation and built connections with Roslyn residents while enjoying the beautiful town and scenery. Here's what one of the FIUTS students had to say:
"The cultural exchange in Roslyn is really an experience to live. You go back home with a lot of knowledge about small towns in America, which really describe the history of the United States, something you can't see in Seattle. It feels really good to know that you bring curiosity and interest to people. Other pluses are the sympathy of the persons accompanying, of the locals who will greet you warmly, and the beautiful outdoors of Roslyn!"
We are so grateful to former FIUTS board member Elaine Chang for making these incredible visits possible, and to Eric Wickwire and his students for welcoming us into their classroom. Check out some photos and more student reflections from our trips!
Our days started with a visit to Cle Elum-Roslyn High School, where we visited Mr. Wickwire's Contemporary World Problems class.
Students split into small groups in order to engage in discussions about issues such as culture, media, and current events in their respective countries.
"I was surprised that students in Roslyn knew about the recent changes that had happened in my country. I learned about their perspective toward my country. I had the chance to make friends and I learned that even people in the small town are open to internationals and they treat us so nicely."
We loved our school lunch!
After school, both groups went to the Roslyn museum to learn about local history, and then had a chance to enjoy the outdoors. The October 27 group took a short hike to the river and spent some time taking in the scenery.
The days ended with a community event at the library, giving local residents and international visitors a chance to talk, ask questions, and get to know one another.
"American’s culture concerning independence that shapes the typical characteristic of people to be creative and brave. Their willingess to learn from us inspired me. Got a chance to reflect and see the value of our own culture. We not only let the students understand us, but we also understand more about ourselves."
The November 3 group posing outside the high school.
We also got a tour of the school, including their amazing gym and equipment!
Outside the Roslyn museum, which includes fascinating exhibits from the town's coal mining history.
"The students at school were really inspiring. They were willing to learn and empowered us to share our cultural differences. They also willingly took us around the town and shared their personal ideas."
The November 3 group took a walk accompanied by some of the high school students, and even made friends with some horses!
"It was worth spending day at Roslyn and especially with FIUTS. Like any other FIUTS activity, it was fully planned and included a lot of activities. Both our hosts were tremendous. I like the way how people in that town are living closely, have conversation with them, gave me an insight of their daily life, events, livelihood and many more things. Above all our group was quite small, which was another best thing for me, as we spent quality time with each other as well. I'll say it was one of my best days spent in Seattle."
If you're interested in participating in a future exchange, or arranging a similar trip to another part of Washington, contact Ellen Frierson at firstname.lastname@example.org.