Central’s Foreign Exchange Student Annika Summanova

Annika Summanova is a foreign exchange student from Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. “High school exchange programs are relatively easy to join… I found an agency that works with the American government and is responsible for finding a host family and a high school for me,” said Annika. She was then placed here at Central. 

Annika at a Phillies v. Braves game

Annika was originally supposed to do an exchange in Canada because she could have stayed with relatives there, but it did not work out. After that, she started researching studying abroad and found the agency she is with now, the International Cultural Exchange Services. “America wasn’t my first choice, but now I can’t imagine being anywhere else,” she said. Annika said that the way America is perceived by people from other countries is completely unrealistic. Annika had watched shows like Riverdale, Ginny and Georgia, and High School Musical. “I made my expectations based on Netflix movies…” 

Annika with her freind, Kyra Holton

Being in America, she said it was a major culture shock for her. She said that here we have air conditioning everywhere, and her body was not used to the cold indoor temperatures. Food also played a big role in the shock. “It took me some time to get used to eating a lot of processed food,” Said Annika. The combination of so many little things that come with moving to a new country was just overwhelming, and it took her some time to adjust.

Annika says her experience here at Central has been really good. Annika runs on the track team and says it is a major part of her life. “The school spirit and sports helped me find friends and feel like I’m a part of this community.” Her friend, sophomore Kyra Holton said, “I became friends with Annika when she first got to Central, and we’ve only gotten closer since then,” Holton says their friendship hasn’t felt much different than a regular friendship, the only adjustment has been the cultural differences between the two. “I believe this is why we have become such good friends because we’ve taken the time to learn about each other without judgment” Annika misses home every day, and as the end of her exchange year is closing in, she is trying to make the most out of her time left.

Read more from The Bobcat Times:

Sliding into the Baseball Season!

Meet Mr. Edmondson

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