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Czech student enjoys De La Salle experience

WARREN, Michigan - Junior Zdenek “Sid” Svelch, an exchange student from Sušice, a small town in the Czech Republic, is delighted to be at De La Salle Collegiate. 

When classmates told him about their experiences as students in Germany and the United States, and called the experience “life changing,” Svelch was determined to spend his own year abroad. He wrote an essay and was selected by a host family living in Detroit. 

Svelch is enrolled in six classes, and taking a typical junior schedule including English, social studies, math, theology, and science. He is also taking a visual arts class. He does note that students at home do not have a choice in class selection. 

Svelch, who has taken English for six years at home, says he has begun thinking in English, and enjoys his classes.

“The teachers are more friendly and helpful,” he said, and the homework load is about what he expected.

He recently attended a De La Salle football game, and said, “I finally understood what it’s all about. There are a lot of rules.”

Because of the time zone difference, Svelch hasn’t watched American football at home in the Czech Republic. 

De La Salle’s marching band also impressed him. Svelch says that Czech students interested in music go to another school at the end of the school day, and the lessons are very elementary. 

While at De La Salle, Svelch plans to participate in the school’s Medical Club - he’d like to be a doctor - as well as the robotics team. His Czech school has a Lego robotics club. 

While he misses tenderloin with cream sauce and dumplings, he does like the school’s cafeteria food. He keeps in touch via Skype with his parents and an older sister. He has visited some of the Detroit cultural institutions and is looking forward to trips to Chicago and Niagara Falls later in the year.