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Exchange student speaks on staying in Michigan during health crisis

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Posted at 5:39 AM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 05:39:59-04

LANSING, Mich. — Life is changing for many high schools during the coronavirus pandemic, but imagine what it's like for foreign exchange students.

Nguyen Dang is a foreign exchange student in Vietnam who came to Michigan to finish out his senior year at DeWitt high school.

"This year I decided to go to Michigan cause I want to experience cold weather and you know everything is going really well for me like actually I had a lot of fun at school," said Dang.

In March when the COVID-19 crisis hit Michigan Dang says he made the decision to stay here because he felt it was the safest thing to do.

"So the exchange program actually they ordered all the exchange students to go home, but since I feel like there (is) like a lot of risk flying back home," said Dang.

"So that (is) why I asked the program to have a waiver to stay and I stayed, "added Dang.

Dang says he is a little homesick but is glad he gets to graduate high school in DeWitt.
He says he will eventually head back to Vietnam, but doesn't know when that will be.

"I am really looking forward to going back home because it's, you know like it's been a school year I haven't visited my parents and it's going to be great if I have a chance to go back," said Dang.

Another family in Holt is also hosting an exchange student who is from Spain.
They too decided the best decision for him was to stay with them during the pandemic.

"This is a kid that I feel like is one of my kids, but also he's not my kid and so I feel extra like cautious and like extra - like I have to keep him safe and I have to make sure he stays healthy," said host mom, Katie Ingraham.

"I feel like I have a responsibility for someone else's kid as well," added Ingraham.

International Cultural Exchange Services plan to keep hosting students for the next school year.

To find out how you can get involved head to its website, HERE.

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