International Students

Sanatgul Dikambaeva

By James Gross - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Sanatgul Dikambaeva from Kyrgyzstan has joined the Lourdes family as an international student this year.

Dikambaeva is a junior this year and is staying with her host family for eight months. She said she has already graduated from school in Kyrgyzstan, which goes up to eleventh grade in high school.

The grade levels are not the only difference between schools in the U.S. and in Kyrgyzstan. Dikambaeva said, “We do not pick our own classes; we have standard classes, and we have schedules made for us.” Her favorite difference between the two schools is that she liked being able to choose her own classes in the U.S.

Dikambaeva has left behind many things in Kyrgyzstan including her family. Dikambaeva has two older brothers and a sister. Dikambaeva said, “They are all in college and are much, much older than I am.” Dikambaeva also said, “I miss the food a lot, it is different from the food here.”

Dikambaeva said that when she finishes her year here at Lourdes she will return to Kyrgyzstan to attend college.

Most would agree that Dikambaeva, and international students in general, bring interesting cultural experiences to Lourdes. Junior Nora Sammons said, “I think it is very interesting to be able to ask questions about what life is like in other countries.”

Junior Riley Studinski said, “You get to hear different opinions; for example, some people we view as poor leaders are seen as great leaders by students from other countries.”

English teacher Jennifer Pollack said, “I find it fascinating to have international students in the class.” In addition, Pollack said she is most impressed with Dikambaeva’s impressive grasp of the English language. “She’s clearly very intelligent, insightful, and hard-working. Sana brings a lot of interesting perspectives into class discussions.”

When choosing an American school to attend, Dikambaeva said that her agency picked Lourdes for her. Now that she has settled in as a Knight, Dikambaeva agrees that Lourdes was the right fit for her. She is participating in choir this year because she said, “I wanted to sing and see how it was.” In addition, Dikambaeva is a member of International Club and “got her feet wet” on the swim team; however, she decided she did not like it.

According to Dikambaeva, her favorite aspect of Lourdes is history teacher Jake Jacobs. Her current schedule includes a history class, English 11, Algebra, Concert Choir, Morality, and a business class. Dikambaeva said she is looking forward to the Christmas season because in Kyrgyzstan she does not celebrate Christmas.

In general, Dikambaeva said, “America is cool!.”

Sanatgul is an international student this year at Lourdes.

Lucas Kim

By James Gross - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Junior Lucas Kim from South Korea has begun his second year as an international student at Lourdes.

Kim is from Seoul, the capital of South Korea. He said that Seoul is very busy, and there is always something to do. He also said that there are many differences between school in America and school in Seoul.

Kim said that one of the biggest differences between Lourdes and his school in South Korea is that there are no lockers in his school. He said that he noticed the lockers right away at Lourdes, and it was "weird" to him. Kim said that school starts around the same time, and his schedule is almost the same back in Korea.

Kim said that choosing to go to Lourdes was convenient because he lives on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus in one of the dorms. His brother and other international students from the Central Boarding Academy program also stay in the dorms.

Besides attending classes, Kim participates in International Club and, in general, said he enjoys attending Lourdes. “The best thing at Lourdes is how peaceful it is, how everyone knows each other, and how nice the people are.”

Even though Kim is enjoying his stay in the United States, he does say he misses eating traditional Korean food.

International students follow different paths when they graduate from Lourdes. Kim said he plans to go to college in the United States, but he has not yet decided his major.

Kim said he is excited for many things to come this year including winter. Kim said he is excited for winter break because he will spend his time in California.

Lucas Kim starts his second year at Lourdes as a junior.

Jay Kim

By James Gross - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

OSHKOSH WI - Sophomore Jay Kim traveled from South Korea to the United States to improve his English skills and to be educated at Lourdes Academy this year.

Kim is from Seoul, the capital of South Korea, which is “very beautiful” to him. He also said that Seoul is always busy, and there is always something to do.

Kim said one of the biggest differences between school in America and school in Korea is that at his school in Korea there are finals every year. However, senior year the students take a different test in order to be accepted to college. He said it is similar to the SAT, and that this test is very important. In contrast, Kim said a student's GPA is not as important to college acceptance in Korea. Another difference between American schools and Korean schools is that the classes students take are picked for them and they don’t get to choose their classes, Kim said.

One of the parts about Korean schools that Kim does not miss is the school hours. He said that he goes to school at 7:30 a.m. and stays until 9 p.m. In addition, his classes and teachers in Korea are more strict and students have to work a lot harder, he said.

Here at Lourdes, Kim said his favorite class is Foundations of English, and he also likes studying at Lourdes because he can learn better English and learn more about the Christian faith.

Although Kim loves being in America, he said he does miss some things from Korea. “I miss my family the most, and I also miss the food,” Kim said. He does, however, like all the opportunities and freedom that comes with being in America. He also likes the sports opportunities at Lourdes and said that he wants to join the football team next year.

When he goes back to Korea this summer, the first thing Kim said he is going to eat is Korean barbecue. He is also looking forward to being with his family and having fun.

Tom Lee

Riley Studinski - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

Oshkosh, WI Sophomore Tom Lee is completing his second year at Lourdes Academy as an international student from Korea.

Lee said that the reason he came to America for schooling is to experience different cultures, but leaving his family was difficult.

Lee said that he is from the city of Yong In in South Korea. Lee said he lives in the countryside with a big mountain right next to his house, so he often enjoys hiking when he is at home. Lee said that his parents are very hard working; his father works for a bank and often travels, and his mother does housekeeping and fixes computers.

Lee said one of his favorite hobbies is playing music. Lee has been instrumental in playing the piano at Mass and during school concerts. Lee said he enjoys playing the drums and that his favorite part about attending Lourdes is that he is able to play music every day.

According to Lee, some of the differences between school in Korea and in America are that there are a lot more tests in Korea and that the schedules are very different.

Lee said that he enjoys living in American and his favorite part of the U.S. is the people.

After graduation from Lourdes, Lee said he plans on attending college for music and hopes to one day be a music director.

Adam Michalec

By Maria Foss - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

OSHKOSH, WI - Junior Adam Michalec, an international student from Bratislava, Slovakia, has joined the Lourdes Academy family for the 2018-19 school year.

“It was my dream since middle school to come here [America],” Michalec said. “During my sophomore year of high school, the Global Outreach Program came to my school. I was so excited that I finally had a chance to travel to America, and I worked hard to be able to go. My hard work has paid off!”

Michalec said his favorite after-school activity at Lourdes Academy was being part of the football team during the fall. “I played football before coming to America, but I didn’t pay much attention to that sport because it’s not very popular in my culture. When I came to Lourdes, though, I fell in love with being part of the football team.”

Michalec said that he also enjoyed playing Chef Louis in this year’s musical: The Little Mermaid. “I love acting, and for the last two months, it has been so much fun playing Chef Louis.”

Although Michalec has not been homesick during his stay in America, he said that he misses his friends, and he wishes that they could be together.

“I miss my culture, too,” Michalec said. “We aren’t allowed to drive in Slovakia until we are 18, so my friends and I like to hang out after school by walking around Bratislava. We walk everywhere. We can get coffee and then walk to the park, or we can buy ice cream… I just miss being able to socialize with my best friends from home.”

Michalec shared one of his favorite parts of America. “The homes here are beautiful. In Slovakia, we live in flats and apartments because the city is so large and there is no room for houses. The American houses are so much better!”

Although Michalec will not be able to spend another year at Lourdes, he said that he wishes he could. “I will miss my American friends, playing on the football team, and being part of the musical,” he said.

When Michalec graduates high school, he hopes to study in Scotland.

“I want to pursue acting. I’ve always dreamed of becoming an actor in the United States when I’m older,” Michalec explained. “I think that acting gives you an opportunity to be so many different people and have countless personalities, and that, to me, is really interesting. I don’t know if my dream will come true, but I hope that it does.”

Eric Liu

By James Gross - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

OSHKOSH, WI - Junior Eric Liu has traveled from China to the United States to improve his English skills and to be educated at Lourdes Academy this year.

Liu comes from the city of Dalian which he described as “a very beautiful city.” Lui said Dalian is near the Pacific Ocean, so the winters are cold but not as cold as in Oshkosh. Liu said he comes from a family of four which includes his mother, father, and baby brother. Lui said the hardest part of being away from his family and his hometown is not missing his family but missing the traditional Chinese food.

Lui said that he chose to attend Lourdes because the faculty at his Chinese school suggested that he should attend Lourdes. According to Liu, he really likes it at Lourdes and said the people are very nice.

Lui said he has enjoyed getting involved at Lourdes. Liu stated that he has been playing the piano for ten years, and he has used his musical talents as a member of the band. He has had a couple of piano solos during the band concerts this year.

Liu said his favorite thing about Lourdes was the Christmas activities. “I liked all of the funny dress up days and how happy everyone was,” Liu said.

Lui said that the differences between life in America and in China are pretty big. The main difference he said is that school in China starts at 7:00 a.m. and ends at 8:00 p.m.

Lui said his future plans include graduating from Lourdes and attending college in the U.S.

Warren Yan

By Riley Studinski - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

OSHKOSH, WI Sophomore Warren Yan has started his first full year at Lourdes as an international student from China.

Last year, Yan became a student at Lourdes half way through the school year after transferring from Xavier High School in Appleton.

Yan said his favorite part about Lourdes Academy is that “everyone here is so friendly, and the teachers are very kind and always willing to help me out.”

Yan said one of the things he enjoys about Lourdes is being involved. Yan said he is in International Club, and after school he enjoys reading, studying, and doing his homework.

Yan stated that he plans to go to college after he graduates from Lourdes; however, he doesn’t know where he will attend or what he will study.

Yan said that the hardest part of leaving his home in Tai Yuan, China was saying goodbye to his parents and other family members.

Ken Jiao: a second year Chinese student

By Riley Studinski - Knight Writer

Student Journalist - Lourdes Academy

OSHKOSH, WI - Sophomore Ken Jiao, an international student from China, started his second year at Lourdes Academy this year.

Now that Jiao is more acclimated to the school, he said he is involved in Pep Band and international club this year.

Jiao said he enjoys being a student at Lourdes because the teachers are always willing to help him out and because he enjoys playing music in the Pep Band for different sporting events.

One of the hardest parts of leaving China, Jiao said, was saying goodbye to his friends and family, but he said he is very glad to be a part of the Lourdes family.

Jiao not only has a family here at Lourdes, but he is living with a host family that he says is very nice. His host family consists of his host parents, his brothers, who are seven and 11 years old, and a dog who is a retired police dog.

One of the biggest challenges for international students is learning a new language. Jiao said that he learned English just before coming to Wisconsin and attending Lourdes. Jiao admitted that he hardly knew any English before coming to Lourdes last year and that his classmates have helped him learn English better.

Jiao said that after he graduates from Lourdes, he hopes to go to college and study medicine and eventually become a doctor.