Exchange student from Holland settling in

Niels Nijssen, a 17-year-old student from Holland, has been adapting to his new settings at Fort Frances High School since the beginning of September.
Nijssen lives with his mother, father, and brother in Middleburg, Holland.
“There are about 45,000 people in Middleburg,” he noted. “It’s not big, but it’s not small.”
When asked what got him interested in going on a 10-month student exchange, Nijssen replied that he had been looking into it for a while.
“I did it because I wanted to do something between high school and college,” he remarked. “I just wanted to experience something really different, and also improve my English.
“When I came here, the first thing I thought was this place is nice! You guys have tons of open space over here!” he enthused.
Bob and Erma Armit have welcomed Nijssen into their home for his 10-month stay here.
“They are really nice to me. They are really curious about Holland and ask many questions, especially about the weather,” he noted.
The Armits also took Nijssen to a football game in Winnipeg last month.
“It was so fun,” he said. I’ve never watched football since we don’t have it in Holland, so it was very exciting.”
Nijssen is no exception from the other exchange students at Fort High about been nervous over Canadian winters.
“When I arrived, the weather was not bad,” he said. “Now it’s getting colder and people are warning me that I have no idea what’s coming. So I guess I’m a little nervous.
“I say let it come, though. I guess we will see if I survive.” he joked.
Nijssen had mixed feelings about his new high school. “It’s a very nice school. Nice people, nice teachers, but too many rules.
“I’m used to school being a lot more laid back, so that will take some getting used to,” he explained.
Courses also will take some getting used to as well for Nijssen, who noted that “they are a lot more difficult, and in English, which makes it a lot tougher for me.”
As for making friends, Nijssen has had no trouble at all.
“I’ve met a lot of people and made a lot of friends,” he said. “There’s a group of guys my age that I’m starting to get along with really well.”
Nijssen noted one of the biggest differences he’s seen in our community so far is “the style of music and fashion. It’s so totally different here.”
Ne enjoyed skateboarding and playing soccer back in Holland, and now enjoys it here in Fort Frances. In fact, he plans to try out for the Muskie soccer team in the spring.
“A lot of guys are into skateboarding here, so that’s cool. Same with soccer, and I love soccer!” he enthused.
“So far, all is really good here,” Nijssen concluded. “All I want out of this is to experience as much as I can and have a lot of fun!”

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