ICES’s Reacheany Speaks on Homecoming Tradition in American High School
A long-standing tradition in American high schools is celebrating Homecoming to welcome alumni, current students and teachers back to campus.
Every high school has its own Homecoming traditions and can mean a lot of different things. Yet, it generally presents an opportunity for school alumni to visit their old stomping grounds, to see old friends, teachers, and the underclassman they left behind.
For the first time in her life, Rathreacheany Samat from Cambodia had the chance to be part of Homecoming at Fennimore High School in Wisconsin. She is studying there as an exchange student through ICES Cambodia.
To experience cultural exchange has been the main reason Rathreacheany signed up for ICES’s High School Exchange Program in the first place, and that was why she was looking forward to the Homecoming once she knew about it.
At Fennimore, the week leading to Homecoming is known as Spirit Week. During the week, there is a dress-up theme for each day, and students dress up according to the theme to show their school spirit, positivity, and unity.
“For example, on Monday, the theme was ‘Movie Monday’ so I dressed up like my favorite movie character, Jade West,” Rathreacheany said. “Then on ‘Spirit Wednesday’, students wore their class color. On that day, we played games against different classes. I got to meet a lot of students.”
Meanwhile, on ‘Fennimore Friday’, Rathreacheany, like other students at Fennimore High, dressed up in maroon and gold, which are the school’s theme colors. It was also Parade day.
“They put me in a convertible, along with the homecoming courts and representatives, each couple in their designated rides,” she said. “We rode downtown for a few blocks and waved to the crowd while throwing candies to the elementary kids.”
On the night of the parade, there was the homecoming football game, and Rathreacheany was so glad her school defeated the other team.
“Then, on Saturday night, we had a homecoming dance for students in grades 9-12 and have fun,” she added. “I went to my friend’s house to get ready and have dinner. Then, we drove to school and joined the dance.”
Life has been full of fun since the new girl in town began her exchange year a few months and Homecoming is by far one of the best experiences she has had in the States.
“It was super fun with many exciting activities,” the 16-year-old said. “I really
enjoyed it and would do it again in a heartbeat!”
Rathreacheany has also been sharing the Cambodian culture and tradition with American students at Fennimore High School, which is another reason she came to the US.
“I showed them Khmer food, Khmer dances, Khmer traditions, and Khmer customs,” she said. “At the same time, I look forward to more thrilling experiences which will change my life.”
ICES Exchange Program is not only about studying but also learning about different cultures, making new friends, and experiencing high school life abroad. Now it’s your turn! For more information on how you can join the High School Student Exchange Program with ICES Cambodia, as well as the program fees and application process, please contact 077 777 244 or 098 686 901.
To be eligible, you must pass the English Proficiency Test provided by ICES Cambodia and have a good academic record (Average “C” in main subjects for the past 3 years). Register now to take the English Test: https://forms.gle/3qifKLu79f4hx5uB7 .