Watford City High School Wins International Exchange Student Program School Of The Year Award

The Watford City High School received Forte International's School of the Year award for the 2022-2023 school year. They held an assembly Thursday, May 4 to announce the award to the students and staff, as well as to recognize all the foreign exchange students. Watford City High School welcomed 13 foreign exchange students this year from Germany, Brazil, Thailand, Poland, Italy, and Spain.

Forte International is a sponsoring organization to help high school students participate in the foreign exchange program. They have been designated by the U.S. Department of State since 2000. Watford City Schools have been participating in the program for seven years. Laura Sanford has been nominating them for the past three to four years but this year is the first year they won.

Exchange students are to live with a volunteer host family and attend an accredited high school. Damaso Munoz, a Spain exchange student said, "It's way different than Spain. You learn different things." Leo Prudonzan, a Italian exchange student, said, "Basketball is different in Italy. They don't have school sports. They just have clubs." Laura Sanford, Watford City's Forte International's local representative, was able to host both students for the 22-23 school year.

Forte International is looking for host families for the 23-24 school year. According to their website, all the host families are expected to provide is a loving home, separate beds, meals, a loving and caring environment, a place to study, access to the school, and school activities. Those that wish to host Forte International foreign exchange students will need to fill out an application and have a background check done. Sanford said, "Students come with their own money. All they need is a bedroom and a plate at the dinner table along with a welcoming family."

The Forte International's School of the Year Award is an honorable achievement to be recognized among the several hundreds of schools across the nation that participate in this program. Those in the Watford City area wishing to host students will need to contact Sanford at 701-300-1386 or go online to http://www.forteexchange.org.


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