Exchange student makes himself at home in Maine


Maria Gagnon, Staff Writer

Moving to a new country for a year was no problem for Bishoy Basilious, a Biddeford High School exchange student. Studying in America has not only brought him newfound friendships and passions, but it has brought him the extra sense of welcomeness by his host family and friends.

Bishoy was born and raised in Egypt. It wasn’t until a year ago he decided he wanted to come to America to experience what the education was like.

“I wanted to come to the U.S. to see how school works here, or how the stuff works here. I like being in the U.S.,” Bishoy said.

Bishoy said he is enjoying his time so far in the U.S. and is glad he put up the long process to be here today.

“It was a one year orientation at Egypt before I came here [U.S.] and when I came here I had a two day orientation at Washington D.C,” said Bishoy. “They taught me what school would be like in the U.S and how to be a part of my host family.

Attending school at BHS has helped Bishoy to break out of his shell and get into the flow of things here.

“I like the school here. It is a lot easier than mine at home,” said Bishoy. “My favorite memory at school was becoming homecoming king.”

The people around Bishoy have made his time here even more enjoyable than he could imagine.

“I made a lot of friendships here and I think it will be forever. I am dating a girl that goes to Thornton Academy. We met in swimming,” said Bishoy.

While friendships and new relationships were being made, Bishoy explains the relationship with his host family and what they do that makes him feel at home.

“They invite me to any family things. I go with them anywhere, said Bishoy. We watch movies together. They make me feel welcome.”

Bishoy is becoming closer to his host family each day.

“As a family we sometimes play board games or just go out and do something,” said Lucas Girard.

Having another “sibling” walking around the house is something Girard enjoys the most.

“I’ll probably miss the little brother dynamic the most,” said Girard. “I can’t really describe it, but when he’s gone it’ll be like losing a brother.”

The brotherly bond between the two is like no other.

“We do our own thing around the house, but if there are any plans [that come up], we’ll go together,” said Girard. “I’ll miss him, but I know he’ll be happy back in Egypt.”

Being provided a safe and loving home by a great family and connecting so well isn’t that easy, and letting go won’t be so easy for the Girard family because Bishoy is more of a family member than just an exchange student. The memories Bishoy has made here will last a lifetime thanks to his host family and friends he’s made along the way.