Yearlong lessons with international exchange students

Exchange students Angel Waranichsakul, Esteban Granja, and Nora Beinbrech celebrate their year in America. Photo by Phil Custodio

Clarkston News Editor
Summer may have come too quickly for three exchange students visiting Clarkston.
Esteban Granja of Equador, Angel Waranichsakul of Thailand, and Nora Beinbrech of Switzerland spent months in town with their host families in the Clarkston Rotary Club program, attending classes at Clarkston High School.
“It’s just been so awesome, and a pleasure to meet all the people around here because you’re doing something that not a lot of people do,” Granja said. “It’s just an amazing experience. So keep doing it, and I’m going to come visit you soon, hopefully.”
His host families are a treasure, he said.
“All these years, it’s been really, really helpful for me, all the people I met and all the people who have been helping me here, teaching me so much stuff I really need in my future life,” he said. “My counselor was one of the best persons I ever met. He helped me all the way through.”
Waranichsakul learned many new things in America.
“I’ve never had a brother before, and here I have two brothers,” she said. “And a new school and new friends, everything was new for me. I’ve met friends here. This was such a great year.”
“It was an amazing year for me as a person,” said Nora Beinbrech of Switzerland. “When it came here, I was kind of shy and quiet. And I don’t think I could just talk like this in English before. It was amazing because I met so many people. And it was just cool, because in Switzerland, I have had the same friends for a long time. And now here I have new friends. It’s amazing. They’re from all over the world.”
She was hosted by two amazing families, she said.
“It was so nice to stay with them. They were so open and they were just amazing. I love it,” she said. “And now it’s sadly already the end of it. I still have one month left, and I hope it’s be an amazing month. I’m just so happy I could do everything, and yet, I’m hoping I will come back really soon because I will miss everything here.”
This year’s group of exchange students was the biggest yet, with the three inbound students along with three outbound and two inbound set for next year, said Clarkston Rotarian Jeff Lichty.
“We always have more students who want to come than we can host,” Lichty said. “Parents are extremely important for these program – we don’t have a program without the host parents.”
For more information on student exchange or hosting, contact Lichty at or 248-625-4244.

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