The Exchange Pt. 2

Featuring Anna Morrison


Scotland- the land of plaid patterns, blaring bagpipes, Nessie the Loch Ness monster, and the most boisterous and passionate football fans. Rolling green hills and mountains engrave the country’s picturesque terrain making it a breathtaking sight. Many would believe Scotland consists of an abundance of red-heads, thick accents, haggis, kilts, and lots of parties. Many of these stereotypes could potentially be correct; however, Scotland consists of much more than just its idiosyncrasies. Eighteen year old Anna Morrison, one of Lewis Cass’ very own foreign exchange students, is a special individual who traveled all the way to the United States from Scotland, of which has rightfully been her home for many years.

Anna and her host siblings

Anna easily blended into Lewis Cass and jumped right into the groove of things. She was apart of the volleyball and is currently on the basketball team. As of right now, Anna is contemplating whether to join the track or softball team in the Spring. Because sports are not as emphasized in Scotland, Anna was very shocked to learn how sports’ practices and events are much more intense and time-consuming. However, she believes that sports provide a great opportunity for student athletes to feel as if he or she is a part of a family. 

“It is a good way to bring everyone together,” Anna says. Joining these sports has allowed Anna to make friends and adapt to her new environment much more easily than without them. 

Additionally, Anna said that Lewis Cass is a good school and has shown nothing short of hospitality and kindness towards her. “The people in Scotland are less outgoing than the people here,” says Anna, and she later added that it seems as if the people at Lewis Cass are more involved with the school and community rather than back at home in Scotland. 

Anna’s witty personality and confidence around new people and environments has also helped her cope with all of the challenges that come with being a foreign exchange student. Anna pointed out that she grew up speaking English as her primary language; therefore, this eliminates that issues that would have been caused from a language barrier. 

Anna reveals that education in Scotland is much more difficult than the education here. All of Anna’s classes at Lewis Cass are not challenging to her as she has endured tougher classes in Scotland. Unlike the United States, laptops are not used in schools in Scotland. Anna enjoys the use of laptops in education and thinks it is very interesting. She can tell it makes many tasks easier to be done for both teachers and students. To add to the list, Anna really appreciates the freedom to dress as she pleases at school. Uniforms restrict one’s way to express him or herself. In contrast, she is definitely not a fan with how early she has to wake to begin the early school days everyday.

Anna and her volleyball teammates

Being miles from friends and family can be very devastating and heartbreaking. On top of being homesick, foreign exchange students have to endure the everyday challenges of new culture, places, people, and classes. I cannot imagine how overwhelming the whole experience must be. Anna misses her home and the people she has known her whole life; however, in all honesty, there doesn’t seem to be much time to long for anything. Anna explains how her busy schedule with sports, school, family events, and trips has taken away most of her time to really dwell on the things in Scotland that she misses. The fast paced and busy lifestyle in the United States has consumed Anna’s mind, time, and any chance to become sorrowful. Because of social media and communication apps such as WhatsApp, Anna is able to stay connected with her close friends and family back at home, despite her busy schedule. 

Special days and moments, such as the Volleyball team’s Senior Night, has made her stay and experience at Lewis Cass that much more memorable. Anna loves the bond between the volleyball team. Despite being an emotional night, Anna had such a great time. The seniors were to make a poster with covered with pictures of all of their memories through the years of playing volleyball. Even though Anna hasn’t played volleyball for Lewis Cass before this year, she really enjoyed making her poster full or memories and momentums. Anna and the other seniors on the volleyball team shared many laughs and tears while looking at all of the posters and taking a trip down memory lane. 

Anna portrays a light and playful personality. When first meeting her, she tends to be a little soft-spoken but quickly comes out of her shell. She is a great conversationalist while adding comical and sarcastic comments to any topic. Anna says that if one were to ask one of her close friends to describe her in one word, they would say “sound” or chill. I couldn’t agree more.

Anna’s volleyball Senior Night

Interestingly enough, if anyone ever had a problem with Anna, she would be a force to reckon with. Anna has achieved a brown belt in karate and could take down anyone who stood in her way. Even her grandma could one-up anyone who questioned her. Anna’s grandma is friends with the Queen of Scotland and even went to her birthday party. 

As can be seen, being a foreign exchange student is a very rewarding experience. In the beginning, Anna wanted a year off before going to college while having fun in the United States and learning about the American culture. Anna has had a great experience so far and is extremely grateful for the chance to meet new people and see new places. Anna’s advice to other potential foreign exchange students is to be open-minded to try new things, always be outgoing, and to “GO FOR IT.” Anna Morrison, the second of the three foreign exchange students of the 2019-2020 school year, will always have a place in our hearts. 

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