International Student Exchange
Placement of International Students
"Making the world smaller one student at a time"
P.O. Box 133
Long Creek, OR 97856
"Foreign students experience small-town life in Long Creek" in the Blue Mountain Eagle May 2016 Article, with great photos to see!
See the stunning images of favorite local senior citizens taken by Raquel Melo Silva, International student photographer at Long Creek School
Onnalin (Mew) Wiriyasumon ~ Thailand
Dear Long Creek School,
As an exchange student who has been in Long Creek for almost 10 months, I do have really fantastic time filled with experiences. Long Creek is a small and charming city where is everybody is like a big family.
Long Creek School has given me many opportunities, whether sports, education, or friendships. I’ve learned lots of American culture and lifestyles; also friends from around the world do make me more understand about their native countries.
Thank you so much for having me as a part of our amazing community and school. My life has changed forever since the first day I was here. Every memories are lessons for next steps of my life. I am so glad to know everybody here and spend times with them. You all would be in my heart and I will never forget this city, Long Creek, where parts of my life are. Love, Onnalin (Mew) Wiriyasumon
Aaron Yeung ~ Tawain
To: Long Creek School
Thank you to the school for bringing us to Anthony Lakes skiing. I really enjoy ice skiing. This is my first time to do it. Thanks for the school to pay a lot of fees. Thank you School to give me a chance to play sports. I really like exercise. I played soccer, basketball, and track and field. Basketball is my favorite sport. I really appreciate the School give us really awesome gym to practice in. I try my best to help team to win the games.
I am glad that I can be a Mountaineer. If I have a chance to stay here and study I will help the school to win a lot of games. I am really proud of Long Creek School. Thank you very much. - Aaron
Abdughafor (Adam) Rajabaliev ~ Tajikistan
Long Creek, little beautiful town, thank you for the wonderful year.
For Dear Long Creek,
I really like this little town. I had a lot of fun in this town this year. Really small community, but the people like a big family. In winter a little bit cold but it’s fine. This little town improve my English a lot, and I found new friends from around the world. I don’t want to leave here.
Sometimes was bored, but sometimes super fun. It was a great year in this beautiful town. I am going to miss you “Long Creek.” - Adam
Lilly Stemmann ~ Germany
Dear Long Creek School,
This year was an amazing experience for me. Long Creek School, the staff, the Board, the parents and anyone else who participates in school activities enabled me to participate in many things and experience new stuff. In school the teachers taught me new skills and especially my English improved a lot in the nine months I was here.
But here in Long Creek School I didn’t only get taught in class sitting down. No, we went on field trips to learn new things away from school. Also we had P.E. which I enjoyed a lot. And of course Home Ec with Linda Studtmann. In that class we were taught cooking skills and it is a class I would never have had in Germany. I enjoyed it very much.
Of course the sports program here in Long Creek was also a big part of my life. I played volleyball and basketball for the first time of my life and though I had played Track before it was a completely new experience. I will miss everyone incredibly and never forget a single person that I met here. The Long Creek community is my second family. Thank you for this year! - Lilly
Fernando Rodriguez ~ Spain
Dear Long Creek School,
I just can be thankful to the whole community and specially to the school for giving me the chance to live here. It was a great year full of experiences. I appreciate all the help that I got from the people in Long Creek, school teachers and school stuff.
I enjoyed the sport season. I tried new sports as basketball or track and I had the chance to compete at the OSAA State Championships.
I am thankful with all people in town to make this year easier for us. Thank you for this amazing year! - Fernando
Kirill Borisov ~ Russia
Dear Long Creek Community,
Thank you very much for this experience. This year was full of joy and nice memories. I hope you all have only good memories about me. People of Long Creek are really friendly and I’m glad to be the part of your big family for one year. I learned a lot about myself and get much mature. We had a lot of fun. And the field trips and sports was amazing. I’m glad that I learned how to play basketball and do track. Thank you for delicious food and interesting lessons. You all put a lot of effort and I’m very grateful for this. - Kirill
Cody Baker ~ USA
Dear Long Creek School,
My name is Cody, and I have been a student here since my freshman year. In that time I have seen three groups of kids [exchange students] come. Some have become my family. If there was no foreign exchange program I would be somewhere else. Thank you for all the memories I can look back on. - Cody
Se Weon Park ~ Korea
Actually, my view was not special. I just thought: “America use English, and it’s very big. Its culture might be different.” That is, I didn’t think specific things about America. I learned many things since being here. I think, I didn’t change a lot, but I feel comfortable here. If it could be called change, I’ll say so. I tried many things. I learned many things, and I enjoyed them all.
At one time, I moved from where I’d lived 10 years. I was kind of sad, but not much because I was with my family and I had few friends there. However, now I’m leaving from where I’ve lived ten months, and it is really painful. I have family and a lot of friends here that I love so much. Long Creek is my home and a place that I can never forget and will miss very much. - Se Weon
Timo Goebel ~ Germany
A year in Long Creek was an experience I will never forget and get again. As a person coming from a large city, it is first very odd to start living in the country side, but once you get used to it you realize it is the best that could happen to you and it gives you a totally new idea of what America is. The town of Long Creek doesn’t mean a lot to me, but the people I met there and everyone I spend my time with became a great part of my life. Long Creek helped me develop my life. - Timo
Bow Rattanakulwattana ~ Thailand
First my opinions about America were about all of the food, the weather, school, everything should be like in the movies, but when I came here it was different from I thought, this small town gave me the best experience that I ever had. Long Creek is my family, I love here very much and if I have another chance to choose where would I want to go for exchange year that still be Long Creek.
I’ve changed a lot, all of my view, opinions, and more confident. I would never know how much I have grown up in one year if I not came here. I love to be an exchange student to meet all of the new people, learn a new language, and gain a new experience. This one year in Long Creek has changed my whole life.
Long Creek is my family, and it’s mean so much to me. I am really glad that I have a chance to come here. Everybody at school, at church, or everyone in town, we all know each other like a big family. I love Long Creek, it’s such a awesome place, and I’ll never forget how much Long Creek meant to me. - Bow
Alvaro Lopez ~ Spain
Well we are in a small community so it is very different compared with the cities. Here everyone loves and trusts everyone and there is always something to do in the community. I can’t really realize well now I can speak more English, I am more outgoing, and hopefully more independent and responsible.
Long Creek is now a second home for me. It has changed my life. It gave me the opportunity to learn a lot and make friends, have fun, etc…I am very glad they assigned me to Long Creek as my destination. I will come back. - Alvaro
Alejandra Cabral ~ Mexico
My view didn’t change much. The only thing I wasn’t expecting is that people are way sweeter than I thought. I think the way I see things has changed. Also I think I have matured so much since I have been here. The people changed me. Long Creek has been more than home to me. It has been a family. Right now it means everything. It has been an amazing experience. - Alejandra
Massimo Basconi ~ Italy
Well, before I come here when I was thinking about America the idea of small communities didn’t come to my mind, but when I arrived here in Long Creek everything changed, it was a big adjustment for me because my city in Italy is way bigger but it was absolutely not a problem, I found out very fast that small communities are beautiful. This year changed me a lot. Here in Long Creek everyone helps each other and I got to help too in a lot of things. A lot of people taught me life lessons that I will keep with me forever.
Long Creek for me will always be part of my life. I had fantastic moments with fantastic people, its community is like a big family and it will be so hard to say goodbye to all of them and to this peaceful and beautiful place. - Massimo
Nechoma Ruffing ~ Moers, Germany
I wanted to spend a year aboard and thought the US would be an exciting place to go.
So I decided to just go and let life face me, and now I know it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I was facing some difficulties and thought spending a year on the other side of the world would be a good thing. I was able to manage my life almost on my own and started to grow up and take on more and more responsibility. I didn't expect to go to such a small community, but I loved it. Everyone was nice to the foreign exchange students and they share and taught us a lot about the US lifestyle. My motto was, "Exchange isn't a year in my life, it's a life in my year." and I lived that way. I was making so many good friends over a very short period of time. Now a year has gone by and I remember all those good times that I had and I feel sad because I probably won't have this kind of experience again. Still, I grew up a lot and got stronger and more mature and that's what it's all about. I will try to get back and soon and visit all my friends and relive the memories. All in all it's an opportunity you should take because it's worth it. - Nechoma
Svenja ~ Frankfurt, Germany
My exchange year in Long Creek was a very exciting time and I am so glad that I had the chance to stay for nine months in America. Of course at the beginning of the exchange I was pretty excited and I was also very scared what could I expect from this exchange... I am so glad that I stayed in Long Creek for the nine months and I probably got the best host mother in the whole world called Nancy. She is so kind and an amazing person. And even my English was pretty bad at the beginning she understood that it isn’t easy so far away from home and she was always so lovely and I felt like home from the first day.
All the people in Long Creek made the time in America unforgettable and I felt so comfortable and I want to say thank you to all the people that I got to know there. All the people there are so kind and everybody was nice to me and talked with me. At the beginning I couldn’t understand all of the things that they told me but it was better every time. I am also so glad that there were a lot of other exchange students from all over the world. I could exchange my experience there and if I felt homesick or so then I could always talk to them and they understood me...
My both host sisters from there are amazing and I am so glad that I met them there and so I got two sisters. I always wanted to have a sister and now I have two sisters that’s all what I ever wanted...
I also did a lot of things there. I was playing Volleyball and Golf. Okay Golf was not really my thing but I survived I went to two amazing trips first to Los Angeles and then to New York. I also remember the ski trip it was an awesome experience because I never skied before and I was really afraid to break my legs but I didn’t and I had so much fun during skiing. Another thing that I will never forget is the delicious ice cream from Dairy Queen I really miss this ice cream I had an amazing time and I will never forget this great time.
I had so many amazing moments there and I met a lot of great people who are now so important for me and I miss them all so much and hope that I am going to see them soon again. I also had a very bad moment in Long Creek. It was the last day there and I was so sad that I had to leave. I started crying so hard and couldn’t stop until Pendelton. It was pretty hard saying Goodbye to all the people that touched my heart.
All in all I can say if I would have the chance to go again to Long Creek I would do it... I had always somebody who was there for me and all the people touched my heart. I really enjoyed the time there and I am so thankful for the time there. The time there helped me a lot to improve my English, to get more self-evident and to do more things by myself. I mean I flew alone to America without my parents or friends just by myself. But this made me the person that I am now and I am glad for that. - Svenja
Jumi ~ Jeonju, South Korea
I was a exchange student from South Korea in LC 2012. I had really great time in LC and I have a lot of great memories. I am used to living in big city in my country so, at first, I thought my experience in LC is going to be not fun. However, I was totally wrong. Even though I stayed in Long Creek only about five months, I had really awesome time with people. As well as I really miss people and school in Long Creek and I really want to visit Long Creek again! - Jumi
Gustavo de Carvalho Almeida ~ Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Hello, my name is Gustavo, I’m from Brazil and I’m writing about my experience in Long Creek. When I first receive the notice that I would stay in a small city like that I got a little bit nervous, because I came from a big city and did not know how would be an experience like that, but when I talked with my host family for the first time, I loved them and my family felt much more confident to let me stay there.
When I got there I started to make a lot of friends, and they were from all over the world, because there were 8 exchanges students in my year besides that the people from USA. The other students, the coaches, the teachers and all people there were very friendly and made easier my adaptation there. There I played basketball, track and field and golf for the school, and I loved all! Because the way that they play sports in High School in USA makes the sports much more interesting, all the competitions, the practice, they really take it seriously!!
Other things that I got fascinated about there was the Landscape, that part of the country is so pretty, all the green area and the mountains are just amazing, I don’t even have words to describe that! And I could travel a lot there, so I could see a lot of beautiful places. Around there are a lot of nice things to do, camping is my favorite!! The church that is other nice thing there, I went to the church every Sunday that I was there, and it was pretty cool! All the people there were very nice, and I could learn a lot with them!
I could not come back yet, but I hope to be back there pretty soon! I love and miss all friends that I made there, specially my American family, which now is part from my real family! - Gustavo
Frederik ~ Fredensborg, Denmark
When I first came to the little town of Long Creek it seemed like your average rural community in Eastern Oregon. But as my first days in the town progressed I found out that this little community had so much more to it than that. I was welcomed with open arms by my wonderful host family, and from day one they did everything they could to keep me happy. During my stay in Long Creek I have made many new very good friends. Most of them attend the Long Creek School, and they are a part of the special unity that characterizes the students at the school and the whole town. This unity is shown especially during the sports seasons, when the whole town is in the gym and ready to cheer when the Mountaineers are playing basketball.
My stay in Long Creek has taught me so much. It has especially taught me how people from different cultures can meet and become friends for life. Nine months I lived here and I will never forget this experience for the rest of my life. I feel so lucky for getting the opportunity to go to another country and experience their culture and I think everybody should get the opportunity to do this, and to go and have the time of their life, just like I had. This town and the people who live in it mean the world to me and I am sure that I will have a very special relationship with them for the rest of my life. I will never forget Long Creek, the place that truly changed my life. - Frederik
Sei Harris ~ Boston, Mass, visiting music teacher in 2010
In the fall of 2010, I left my home in Boston and drove across country to begin working as a music teacher in Long Creek. To be honest, I really didn't know what to expect. I had spent most of my life up to that point living in, or near, large cities. I thought that a town of 5,000 was considered small and that the state of Oregon ended about sixty miles east of Portland. When I arrived in town, I was immediately greeted by name and told I had a package waiting for me at the post office. This type of thing was completely new to me. I wasn't used to talking to my neighbors (in a friendly way), waving, or having conversations in the middle of the road. These are all things that happen frequently in Long Creek. I felt welcome from the moment I arrived in town, I knew that if I ever needed something, whether it was a frying a pan or a tow truck, all I had to do was knock on my someone's door. I made lasting friendships, worked with great students, and learned from talented and dedicated teachers. Living in Long Creek helped me grow both as a teacher and as a person. It was a great experience. - Sei
Deidra ~ New York City, visiting music teacher in 2012
As a native New Yorker, I was a little wary of moving to a small town on the opposite side of the country. But my year in Long Creek was transformative. It reaffirmed my belief that there are good people everywhere and gave me a chance to live in a place unlike any I'd ever lived in. The Long Creek School was a big part of what made my experience such a positive one. Long Creek students were always kind and respectful, and the staff was friendly, supportive, and knowledgeable. The whole community welcomed me with warmth and open arms. It was a joy to watch the students work together and learn their core subjects in the classroom, learn about their environment during trips into the great outdoors, and learn about sportsmanship on the basketball and volleyball courts. Teaching music at the Long Creek School was one of the best and most memorable experiences of my life. I will always think fondly of my time spent in Long Creek and at the Long Creek School. - Deidra