A new exchange in cultures: community welcomes two new international students

Reprinted from the January Network, page 10


Marian is a place where girls become important women in the world, while welcoming different cultures and backgrounds. Sophomore Dokyung Kim, also known as Skyla, is a new international student in the Marian community from Incheon, South Korea. Before Marian, she studied in the small mountain town of Mena, Arkansas for one year, but couldn’t see herself being prepared for college. She searched for schools that would challenge her, and Marian popped up. She looked into what the community was about and quickly found that it could be the perfect fit for her. 

Kim was set, but before she went anywhere, her Arkansas friends sent her off with a goodbye party filled with food, games and memories. She visited Incheon for a week before shortly making her way to Omaha. She was warmly greeted by her host family and pleasantly surprised with the ‘warm’ Nebraska weather.

 She arrived at school and the community had already made some impressions. “I didn’t know that Marian was an all girls school, it really shocked me. The school is more academically challenging in a good way,” Kim said. Kim’ s enjoying the academics, but ultimately her favorite class is homeroom because there is no grade in it. She’s interested in the field of neuroscience and hopes to go to medical school. Although she gets homesick leaving her 12-year-old sister at home, she is really excited to join Young Medicine Club and Trap Shooting, meet new people and become more fluent in English. 

As for now she is enjoying the snow, celebrating her favorite holiday, the Lunar New Year, working towards getting a driving permit and learning Spanish I this semester. 

skyla and fannie web.jpg
Making New Friends •  Dokyung Kim (Skyla) ’22, Yifan Jiang (Fannie) ’22 come together after school in the journalism room for an interview. Kim and Jiang are excited to be a part of the Marian community. Photo by Nayah Mbilain.

Another international student, freshman Yifan Jiang, also known as Fannie, comes from Zhejiang, China. She arrived in Omaha for the new year on Jan. 1 with her parents. She lives with her uncle Mr. Jun Shao, who is the Marian Mandarin teacher, and his wife. 

She chose to study abroad to create a better future for herself, to have a lower workload and to become more fluent in English. “I’m most excited to stay at home, become more knowledgeable, make more friends and relax,” Jiang said. 

Another reason she chose Marian was because of all the activities to choose from and the highly positive recommendations from her uncle. “He said the school’s really good and the people here are very friendly,” Jiang said.

She believes her biggest adjustment was the teaching style in math and literature class. “Math is slow and literature is different because in China there is more grammar and less discussion,” Jiang said. Jiang is also a part of the choir and loves to listen to music because it reminds her of home. 

 A few things she’s excited to do are go to an amusement park, join more clubs and enjoy the winter weather. Jiang plans to complete her full high school career at Marian and looks forward to experiencing all the Marian traditions.

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