The Summit, a small private school in Springfield, is hosting a foreign exchange student from Senegal.
Souleymane Ndoye will spend this school year at The Summit to take American classes and learn a little bit about the culture.
He's 5'11" tall and weighs only 95 lbs.
Souleymane's home in the city of Dakar, Senegal is nearly ten times larger than Springfield, and life is very different here.
"They like to go somewhere," he said, "like restaurants. Everybody goes outside."
But Souleymane says he is fitting right in, despite a slight language barrier.
"I have a problem with English," he admitted.
His teachers at The Summit say he adds more diversity to an already diverse class. One of them is Kathy Reynolds, who also hosts Souleymane through the exchange program."
"We have a very international school here," Reynolds said. "And Souleymane is part of that."
Now Souleymane can experience a typical American education, typical American friends, and typical American food.
"I like hamburgers," he said. "And also Chinese food."
The small, private school was so happy to have Souleymane in class the board offered him a full scholarship to attend.
"He brings so much culture here," Reynolds said. "He's very a very bright boy. And very personable."
But like most people in Senegal, Suleymane is a Muslim. That means he qualified for the YES program, a government sponsorship that helps students from Islamic countries learn about the United States.
"They look at American movies and they think that American people are like that," he said. "But it's very different. I will tell them that it's different."
Souleymane is one of three exchange students at The Summit this year. He will return home to Senegal after the school year is over.
Learn more about the YES Student Exchange program.
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