Shaker High School welcomed eight Russian students and their two teachers at the end of October. The group was from Moscow’s School 1158, located in the southern part of the city. This was the third exchange Shaker students had the opportunity to participate in. Shaker previously hosted students from Costa Rica and France.
Prior to arriving in Latham, the group spent two days in Washington, D.C., where they visited monuments and learned about our nation’s capital. Once the Russian students arrived at Shaker, they stayed with host families and experienced many fall activities, including bonfires, pumpkin carving, Fright Fest and, of course, Halloween. Our Russian guests participated in the Halloween parade at the high school and other Halloween-related activities in the evening. Halloween is not widely celebrated in Russia and the concept of trick-or-treating was completely new to our guests.
During their time at Shaker, the Russian students shadowed their host students, visited classes and followed the daily schedule. They also visited the Russian classes at Shaker Junior High School where they shared information about their school, their city and their life in Moscow. The group also took a field trip to Hancock Shaker Village to learn about where our school got its name. In addition to activities in the Capital Region, the group went to Boston to learn more about our country’s history. They took a walking tour of the Freedom trail and spent time at Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market.
“The Russian student who stayed with me presented a side of life that I didn’t know existed,” Shaker senior Chris Garretson stated. “It feels like I had been oblivious to a whole other world.”
The group departed early on Friday, Nov. 1 to go to New York City, where they spent two days exploring and sight seeing before boarding their plane and saying до свидания to the United States.
“We are so thrilled that we were able to offer this exchange opportunity to our students and families. I took part in an exchange with this very school when I was a junior and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life,” Russian teacher Sara Detmer said. “It gives students and families the opportunity to learn about another culture and to build meaningful relationships.”
“I was honored to welcome Russian students Maria and Anna into our home,” Shaker senior Marisa Dreibelbis said. “I loved learning about life in Russia and, in turn, sharing our American traditions. They both brightened our home with their own talents of music and knowledge, making their goodbyes all the more heartwarming. It is an experience I will never forget and it will always be in my heart.”