From Bungoma to Poway


Laughing at a joke with her new friends, sophomore Eddah Amusugut has settled into her first month at PHS. Amusugut moved just a few weeks ago from Bungoma, Kenya. 

 Amusugut is from the western part of the country bordering Uganda. Back home, Amusugut has a brother and a sister, a dynamic mirrored in her host family.

 “School in Kenya is sorta tedious, but being in a boarding school has a lot of fun stuff,” Amusugut said. In Kenya, she went to school for nearly 12 hours a day. Another change for Amusugut is clothing. In Bungoma, students all have uniforms. “The clothing is so different, like here, you got people wearing very short clothes,” Amusgust said. In Kenya, students also refrain from carrying their phones on campus. Outside of school, apps like Tik-Tok and Snapchat are also very popular in Kenya. 

Another new thing for Amusugut was traveling this far from home alone. “I was excited to see a new country but was afraid of leaving my family behind,” Amusugut said. Amusugut chose America because she hopes to go to college here. 

Amusugut’s French teacher, Milena Dugo, often gets foreign exchange students through American Field Service (AFS), a program that helps students all over the world study and learn in new countries. She has welcomed students from Germany, Spain, Chile, and Mali. “They are a valuable asset to the class because they talk about their culture and country,” Dugo said. She encourages students here to sign up to be an exchange student through AFS too. 

Amusugut’s counselor, Christy Brown helps visiting students adjust to a new school and country. Exchange students typically stay for a year. Once here, they attend an enrollment meeting where they discuss how students are able to earn credit while overseas and go over what counseling services are offered here, “If a class is easy or too hard. Or if they need a tutor or want to be a tutor, homesickness, is definitely things we see students for,” Brown said.  

Amusugut will be here for one school year, and intends to become a fully integrated member of PHS. So far, she has joined cross country. She also enjoys her programming and French classes. Amusugut is also very excited to go to the homecoming dance.