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From 'Down Under' to Goodrich

Langley (click for larger version)

Hamilton (click for larger version)
March 07, 2012 - Eleanor Langley and Belinda Hamilton spent 26 hours on a flight to reach Goodrich.

Two of the four foreign exchange students currently at Goodrich High School, Langley and Hamilton are both from Australia

Langley, 18, of Sydney, said that the biggest differences between the U.S. and Australia are the prices, the temperature, and the way of life in general.

"There's more relationship drama," she said of her experience at an American high school. "So much of our popular culture comes from America. I've always wanted to go to an American high school."

The food, in particular, is something that she misses from home. "You have to be weary of everything you eat," Langley said of the food in America.

So far, her favorite food here is pretzels.

The only country Langley has visited besides America is New Zealand, and she said that she would love to travel to others, England in particular.

Hamilton, who is also 18, agreed with Langley that the pricing was a big difference. She also noticed the different styles of humor. "We're very laid-back," she said of the Australian culture.

The Melbourne native is no stranger to international travel-she's lived in Hong Kong, Singapore, California and around Asia, in addition to traveling during the holidays.

"I graduated already, and don't know what I want to do with my life," said Hamilton on why she decided to take time off and become an exchange student.

She cited food as being the biggest difference for her. Everything here is bigger and more processed, especially fast food.

For both girls, their first days in America, after recuperating from the jet lag, were spent with their host families and getting used to their surroundings. "I was really cold," admits Hamilton.

So far, both Hamilton and Langley have enjoyed being foreign exchange students and interacting with other American students. Langley said that the biggest memory she'll take home with her is of teaching other students about Australia.

"I had to explain to my class that we speak English in Australia," she said.

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