Eliza Woods must really like school.
The Redwood Area School District foreign exchange student, who calls Forbes, New South Wales, Australia home, finished her sophomore year of high school not that long before loading onto a plane and heading east for Minnesota to spend several months studying locally.
When she returns in January she will not have much, if any time, before she starts her junior year.
“When I go back I will start school again,” said Woods, who said the classes she is taking locally are not going to count for credit toward her education.
While knowing her time is short in Redwood Falls, Woods has an edge over most exchange students who visit, as she lives in an English speaking nation (although when she talks it certainly sounds different than Minnesotans are used to) and has not had much problem in terms of communicating with teachers, the friends she is making or her host family.
Woods is living with the Martin and Virginia Fabrizius family, and she said her experience has been very positive.
Woods arrived Aug. 9.
Woods, the daughter of Suzanne and Rowan Woods, said students in her school were encouraged to think about the exchange program.
“It looked pretty interesting, so I filled out the application,” said Woods, adding she did not know in advance where she would stay.
She described her hometown as small, adding it is pretty similar in size to Redwood Falls.
She said she had never been to the United States, adding she had never been overseas.
During her exchange, Woods said she is hoping to meet a lot of new people and make new friends and to experience what it is like to live in the United States.
As a student, the 16-year-old is enrolled in U.S. history, English, art, concert choir and French, and she said she is part of the cross country team and dance team. Woods said she is involved in dance in Australia and has been since she was five.
Woods is only visiting for six months, and she said she is hoping to make the most of her time here.
“I am having a lot of fun,” she said. “I have a very good host family and am meeting a lot of people.”