Get to Know This Year’s Exchange Students!

Jillian Odefey and Nick Henken

It’s always good if people ask questions. – Lise Holberg

So, please, introduce yourself to our wonderful batch of exchange students. They have many new and interesting things to talk about. We small town kids have known each other since diapers; fresh faces are a welcome change!

Estelle is a Junior at Harwood. She was secretly hoping for the sandy beaches of Florida or California, but we’re beyond happy to have her here. From the cold winters of Switzerland, she is ready and excited for the harsh Vermont weather and a snowy ski season.

To pass the time in autumn, she picked up volleyball. At home, she competed in rhythmic gymnastics for more than five years, but she’s ready to give that up for her newfound interest! “I think when I’m going back to Switzerland, I’m gonna stop gymnastics, and I’m gonna start doing volleyball” she said. However, this may be tricky. Her school and town have no volleyball club, but it’s played in the surrounding areas. She believes she can convince enough of her friends from home to play, and create a team of her own. Of course, she wants to bring the Harwood spirit back with her. “Even if we lose, we still are happy that we played. It’s really a good team!” So far, she’s having a very positive experience here, and would love to talk to you about it!


You might recognize Nick from our not-so-Harwood football team. Everyday after school, he can be found on the U32 field practicing his new sport. While he had never played American football before, he has a long history in Germany with rowing.

“I did a different sport. I was in a rowing club for five years.” He would be thrilled to talk to you about his unique and interesting experiences. When he calls himself “pretty good,” you can laugh. He’s being humble. “I was competing at a very high level. And I also got invited to a lot of championships, one of them I went to. The National Championship.” He could have continued on this path, “After I won the national championship, I got invited into an Olympia Academy.” But, he says, he chose not to go so he could do his exchange year here. Wow, we should be honored!



Lise is a sixteen year old from Denmark. She spends most of her free time cooking for herself, or introducing her host family to new, delicious Danish foods. Agreeing with all the other exchange students, she’s been finding American cuisine below standards. “No offense, but the food here is not really good.”
However, two years ago, at fourteen, she was beating something other than eggs. “I did martial arts for about five and a half years. I did Judo.” Not only did she DO judo, she nearly perfected it. Her talent took her all the way to Nationals: “When was this, like, what, two years ago? I went to the Danish Championship. I won silver.”
Don’t let this intimidate you, Lise will almost always be found with a smile on her face. So, approach, ask questions: “We’re happy to answer them. Like I love answering questions.”



Irene is from Madrid, Spain and she is the only sophomore exchange student at Harwood. She loves to meet new people, and will talk to you about her interests in baking, fashion, and volleyball. While there are some differences between Spain and the US, playing volleyball isn’t a new thing for her. She started playing volleyball five years ago, and this skill has helped smooth the transition to Harwood. She now plays volleyball on the Harwood junior varsity team. You will almost always find her dressed in a fashionable outfit because of her interest in clothes. Like many of the rest of us, she loves going shopping. Another one of her passions is cooking, especially sweet treats. “I love cooking desserts.” However, her opinion on American food is a bit critical, “No, I mean, not horrible. But like, interesting.” Oh well, most of us agree!