For the 2012-13 academic year, Jensen, 16 years old and from Denmark, is living with the Hapners as a foreign exchange student through Education First Foundation for Foreign Study. Jensen is one of five foreign exchange students attending classes at Wawasee High School for the entire academic year.
Based on his application with EF Foundation, Jensen appeared to be a good choice to stay with the Hapners, Karyl Hapner said. “He likes outdoor stuff, he likes to hunt,” she said. “He likes four-wheeling, too.”
This is the first time the Hapners have ever hosted a foreign exchange student. A friend, Denna Lukas, who is a local international exchange coordinator, had asked the Hapners to become a host family. “She (Lukas) tries to find a good home that is a good fit for the students,” Karyl said.
The Hapners are only beginning to get to know Jensen because he has only been in their home for two weeks. He is a soccer player and has an outgoing personality. “It’s really easy for him to meet people,” Karyl said, adding sports has been one way the family is getting to know Jensen because their own son plays tennis.
This is also the first year for Rose Calbeck, Syracuse, to host a foreign exchange student. She is hosting Sophie Effer from Germany. Effer arrived in early August after spending a couple of weeks at a camp in Boston.
Calbeck said she became interested in hosting an exchange student after a niece had hosted one for a couple of years. Calbeck is getting to know Effer and said she already knows Effer enjoys being around animals.
Effer was taken to Dallas Lake near Topeka for tubing and trips are planned for later to Chicago and Indianapolis. “She went to the (high school) football game last week and really enjoyed it,” Calbeck added.
Other exchange students and their host families are: Fabio Drighetti, Brazil, Tim and Sheila McGee, Syracuse; Esther Hermann, Germany, Ken and Denna Lukas, Syracuse; and Luca Santoro, Italy, Ken and Denna Lukas.