Iola High School welcomes a record number of international students this year.
Five students — three from Italy, one from Spain and one from Germany — have arrived in Iola as part of a study abroad program through the Pan Atlantic Program.
The exchange students were required to spend two weeks in quarantine because of the coronavirus pandemic, under CDC guidelines. Only two of the students have been able to start classes; the others expect to begin Monday or later.
All of them are athletes and are looking forward to participating in school sports.
“We’re excited to get them in our classrooms and get them started on activities,” USD 257 Superintendent Stacey Fager said. “I’m looking forward to meeting them all.”
The students will add diversity to the school and present opportunities for IHS students to learn about different cultures.
“These students can share their experiences and bring their culture to life for our students,” Fager said. “The relationships they will make during the school year will benefit not only the students but also our faculty, parents and the community.”’
Fager said he hopes the experience this year encourages more families to explore the possibility of hosting a foreign student.