Andrea Cantric, right, with her host sister Amber Miosi talk about the past year and their future plans. Photo by Ruth Hanson
By Ruth Hanson
Andrea Cantric, an American Field Service exchange student from Serbia, will be heading for home the middle of June.
She has spent the school year with Amber Miosi, a senior, and her family, including parents Marie and Thomas Miosi, in Claremont.
Her English is almost flawless. "I took English from the fifth grade," she explained. "I took Spanish here at Triton High School and I'm really glad I did. I learned the grammar. I have taken French since the third grade, but I only know a little bit."
She is 19 years old and graduated from high school in Belgrade, Serbia. She will prepare for college exams, which are scheduled for September, when she gets home.
"Then I will know to which college I will go," she said. "I would like to go to college for management of human resources."
Her host sister, on the other hand, is going into the United States Army for a five year hitch and wants to become a linguist.
"I want to go into the army while I am young," Amber said. "I want to start learning languages right away."
Andrea's father, Ilija, is a businessman who owns several bars. Her mother, Jasna, helps him with the work.
"I have hung out with AFS students since I was a freshman, so I got to know them and wanted to host," Amber said. "My brother Brandon lives with us, too."
Andrea said she likes Triton because of the American system of education - that teachers are friendly.
"Serbian teachers are just there to teach," she said. "They don't share anything about their personal lives and they don't want to know about ours. High school isn't supposed to be a fun place. Students are just there to learn."
She graduated there.
Her senior project at Triton was knitting a purple scarf with a pattern in it for herself.
"I will knit a cap when I get a pattern for it," she said. "I learned from a family church friend."
She said she really likes her host family.
"They really helped me with any problems that I had," she said. "I was lucky that it worked out so well because living with total strangers is just part of the deal. We didn't have any problems."
She added that going to Florida to Disney World was the highlight of her entire trip.
"It was one of the things I had hoped I could do while I was here in the United States," she said. "Amber had been there before. It's wonderful - even more fun than I expected."
She said that her host parents plan to take a trip to Europe sometime in the near future and they will stop and see her.
"I've been here so long," she said, smiling a little. "I don't expect to come back to the United States soon - after college maybe."
She and Amber and two friends had gone to Valley Fair the day before and she said they had a good time. She visited the Mall of America another time and enjoyed it. She would like to have traveled to New York City and California, but that wasn't part of the program.
She looked back at her time in Minnesota and said, "I like the skyways. We don't have those in my country. But the best part was Florida. I loved the beaches. We were there on Christmas break. And Wolf Ridge was a very interesting experience - 40 below zero wind chill, but it was fun."
"That is a good trip for freshmen," Amber said.
"This has been a really long trip," Andrea said. "But it has been a good experience and I'm glad I came. I will miss you all."