The student news site of Omaha North High Magnet School

The North Star

The student news site of Omaha North High Magnet School

The North Star

The student news site of Omaha North High Magnet School

The North Star

    Long distance learning

    A story on Jude Park and Shion Numata

    Two exchange students Jude Park, 12, and Shion Numata, 12, have come to Omaha North High School for the 2024 school year. 

    Park is originally from South Korea and is going to apart of the exchange student program at Omaha North High School from December 21, 2023, to December 2024.  

     Ludona Griffin is his host he is staying with currently. The host is the person he lives with and takes care of him while attending North High.  

    “They are another family to me,” Park said. 

    He decided to join the exchange student program because he wanted to learn the English language and about the American culture.  

    Park believes that America is more relaxing than Korea and has many more nationalities and races. Park says “I’m enjoying my time in America because of my host family, school and the people at North High. 

    Park did not have a choice for where he was going for the exchange student program, so the program he is in currently placed him at North High.  

    “I miss my friends and my dog in Korea”, Park said. “But I still want to be able to experience and witness the different lifestyles and culture here.”   

    Some cultural things in South Korea are Hangul (Alphabet), Hansik (Food), Hanbok (Clothing), Hanok (Traditional Housing), Hanja (Chinese Characters), and Hanguk-Eumak (Music) according to Association for Asian studies.  

    While the United States is known for fast food, football and Holidays like the Fourth of July, South Korea is known for rich cultural heritage and delicious meals according to U.S. News and World Report.  

    Park’s routine is slightly different in America than it is back home. Park must get up earlier and go to sleep sooner than usual. There is a big-time difference in the United States compared to South Korea. South Korea is 16 hours ahead of the United States so Park must transition to the new time frame when he sleeps and wakes up.  

    Park also works out more than normal and has a more relaxed lifestyle than he does in Japan.  

    “The environment is very different especially with a new home, new school, new friends and just a new culture.” Park says.  

    Park also quickly became friends with the other exchange student Numata who is from Japan.  

    “I didn’t have a specific reason for choosing to be in the exchange student program, but I wanted to learn to speak English and it was my dream to come to the United States,” Numata said. 

    Numata is going back home at the end of the school year in May. 

     “English is a very difficult language for me because the grammar is different from Japanese and I have to learn most of the words from scratch,” Numata said. 

    Numata does not miss his family much, but he misses the Japanese food a lot.  

    “I don’t often eat rice or noodles in the United States, so I miss the foods I used to eat in Japan,” Numata said. 

     Some popular Japanese foods are Tofu, Ramen, Tonkatsu, and Natto. Numata’s favorite is the traditional Japanese noodles.  

    Some big changes Numata is getting used to is his host families’ manners regarding food he says they are quite surprising and unfamiliar to him.  

    Both exchange students miss their home for but are still glad to be here and experience a different lifestyle and culture.  

    Graphic by Alea Kinney
    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover
    About the Contributor
    Alea Kinney
    Alea Kinney, Feature and Sports Writer
    My name is Alea Kinney and I am a sophomore this year. I am excited to learn new things in newspaper and find out what it’s about. A fun fact about me is my favorite color is pink.   

    Comments (0)

    Let us know your thoughts or stories you think should be told
    All The North Star Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *