Exchange Student from Tunisia Experiences Life at Dimond

To travel abroad to new cultures has captured many people over the years.

Becoming an exchange student involves new experiences and new feelings, with students fully immersed in every part of the culture.

This year Amine Boughanni, a junior, is just one of the many exchange students here at Dimond. Boughanni is originally from Tunisia, Africa.

“The application process was very hard,” Boughanni said. This process included “seven written essays and 40 hours of community service.”

Only “34 students out of 700 students” were selected to become an exchange student.

Boughanni has noticed many differences between his school at home and Dimond. For example, in Tunisia there are “15 mandatory subjects per year,” Boughanni said. “School is six days a week,” and lasts “eight to 10 hours a day in school and then there is homework afterwards.”

Even the building style is different. Here at Dimond the campus is all indoors, but in Tunisia “there are multiple buildings and we do not have lockers,” Boughanni said.

Dimond is also so “big and diverse in cultures,” He said. He also “likes  the teachers and the students, they are nice and friendly.”

In turn, teachers and students enjoy having Boughanni at Dimond. According to Aline Hopkins, a French teacher here at Dimond, “Amine is very polite and proactive.”

Boughanni is also a great addition to the class.

“He helps me a lot with the students and presentations,” Hopkins said.

Some students shared their first impressions of Boughanni.

“He has a great sense of style and a nice smile” said Junior Samantha Reed, a classmate.

“He is also really good and advanced in guitar,” said Senior Alice James, another friend who is in his guitar class.

Boughanni enjoys many extracurricular activities such as playing soccer, diving, guitar and community service.

He is also very involved in multiple clubs at Dimond.

“I’m in the Key Club and Partners Club and I plan to start a French Club,” Boughanni said.

Not only are there differences in school but also in scenery. Boughanni likes “waking up to see a postcard” every morning.

“I live in a small town in Tunisia, so I wake up to see mountains but they are not nearly as big as these,” said Boughanni, considering what he likes most about Alaska.

One thing he is not excited to experience is “the dark and cold” that is soon to come as we get closer and closer to winter.

Some cultural differences that Boughanni noticed the most are that here in the United States we are not quick to judge and we “don’t care about others appearances.”

The second is that we “drive so slow compared to Tunisia.”

Another difference in culture is that “people are so organized over here and how most people follow the rules,” Boughanni said.

Boughanni has plans for the future, as well. He wants to go to college to become “a computer engineer.”

He also has plans for more travel. Boughanni wants to go to countries like “Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa and Japan.”