Valdosta - These foreign exchange students are now honorary citizens of Valdosta. "Everything's a lot bigger, its a lot more spacious, its nice," said Rory Sadler, Student.
They left their home in Brightlingsea England for a two week exchange program in South Georgia, and they're quickly learning what a difference an ocean can make. "School starts earlier, we usually start a couple of hours later," said Sadler.
"The weather's really hot, if we were in England we'd be wearing coats," said Hannah Edwards.
To get academic credit for their stay here, the students must complete eight different challenges. Those include everything from studying the city landscape, to pointing out the differences in our legal systems. "They're looking at the history of education in Valdosta, they're performing drama, they're setting up a book, they're making a quilt," said Jane Caryer, British Instructor.
During their stay in Valdosta, the students will attend class at Valdosta High School and live with another student enrolled there. In the summer, they'll switch roles and the students from Valdosta will head to England. "They become an adoptive member of that family for the time they're here," said Caryer.
The experience gives these students a taste of what Americans are really like, rather than the stereotypes they often see on television. "One of the comments a student made was that when you go to Florida you just meet tourists, when you come to Valdosta you meet real Americans and the welcome they give is wonderful," said Caryer.
A welcome these students will return when Valdosta students visit their country in June.