Lakeview welcomes a new foreign exchange student

Amanda Balon, Staff Writer

  This year Lakeview welcomed a new foreign exchange student from Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic, Tomáš Konečnÿ, ‘21.

  Konečnÿ was very excited when he first came to Lakeview.

  He stated, “I thought my school back in Czech was big, but when I saw Lakeview I was amazed.”

  When Konečnÿ first arrived in Michigan, he had very bad jet lag since Czech Republic is 6 hours ahead.

  He stated, “The first week I was very tired and I had to adjust.”

  Many things here are similar to what he is used to, but there are a few differences.

  He mentioned, “Everything here is by car. The city is different and there are lakes.” He likes Michigan so far and hopes to explore the country more.

  He has developed a good relationship with his host parent as well. He is staying with a pastor named John, who has also hosted other exchange students from the past.

  Konečnÿ decided to play football here at Lakeview and is on the junior varsity team. He had never played football before but picked up the sport easily and is now a great player.

  In Czech Republic, Konečnÿ plays hockey, tennis, and rides horses. He plays hockey for the Lakeview team and made some close friends through the sport. Hockey is one constant that he has from back home. Having something that is very familiar to him here in Michigan, is keeping him grounded.

  The language barrier is one of the hardest things Konečnÿ has had to adapt to. Being in a foreign country, and not knowing how to speak the language very well, is very stressful. He mainly translates on his phone, but the translations are not always perfect.

  Paul Goike has Konečnÿ in his United States History class. He stated, “He mainly struggles with his English; it is definitely his biggest difficulty, but he is better with it than he thinks. When you talk to him, you can tell he has to take it in, and process it. He seems to be getting better though.”

  Konečnÿ seems to be adjusting to Lakeview well. Goike also mentioned, “Tomas seems to have adapted to an American classroom pretty well. He is sociable, and friendly, and has made friends with his classmates.”

  Konečnÿ is continuing to adapt to Lakeview, and is excited for the adventures ahead of him. He hopes to improve his English skills and have a great year of American high school.