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Mitchell High School Embrace Foreign Exchange Students Through Prom Theme
Updated May 2, 2017 6:58 AM
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(MITCHELL) - Mitchell High School has enjoyed 3 foreign exchange students in their population this school year - Faraja Peter Sabaya, from Tanzania; Tanyathorn "Pim" Permkitpaisarn, from Thailand both students with PAX Academic Exchange, and Pimpatha "Bam" Tangtiyapan with CIEE.

Faraja, Pim, and Bam have had a great experience at Mitchell High School and in southern Indiana.

The student body has rallied around these three students and enjoyed learning about their countries and their culture.

Faraja "Peter," a PAX YES Ambassador, shared a presentation on his home country of Tanzania during International Education Week in November, gaining a new respect for teachers after repeating himself 7 times throughout the day.

This presentation, along with 20 hours of community service, are two of the requirements of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) scholarship program through Department of State and PAX.

The junior class, when coming up with a theme for this year's Prom, decided upon Passport to Paradise, featuring the countries of Tanzania and Thailand, complete with mock "visa stamps" on the back of the Prom tickets.

Pim and Bam have worked hard to design a Thai-inspired art project for the occasion. Pim's aunt hand-made a dress for her and sent it just for this special day. Sponsor Becky Mason is excited about this unique celebration and plans to have a few snacks and items from Thailand and Tanzania for students to try during the festivities.

All three students look forward to remaining in contact with their friends from Mitchell for years to come, and Pim, for one, is planning to return very soon to pursue her college degree in Indiana.

These amazing MHS students are hosted this year by three employees of Mitchell Community Schools, Tami Cummings Cole (Burris), Jessica Morgan (MHS-Biology), and Marian Cash. Employment at a school is not a requirement of hosting.

Host families come in all shapes and sizes - single parents, traditional two-parents, empty nester parents - families with young children, teenage children, adult children - families of all colors, creeds, nationalities, and religions. Register to browse student profiles and begin your application today.

Community Coordinator, Erin McAlister, supports Pim and Faraja and their host families, as well as 11 other exchange students attending Bedford North Lawrence HS, Wood Memorial High School in Oakland City, Dugger HS in Dugger-Linton, and Franklin HS.

Those interested in becoming a host family can contact Erin at (301) 237-0559 with questions.

Hosting a student is a great opportunity to travel the world without leaving home.

Families are responsible for a bed (the bedroom can be shared with a host sibling of the same gender and similar age), 3 meals per day, and companionship - sharing American culture and family life with the student.

Students come with their own spending money and insurance.

Please contact MHS Alum and PAX Community Coordinator Erin McAlister at (301) 237-0559 with any questions about hosting a student, or traveling abroad. Learn more at or

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