Romina Lazarin has a mother who wants her to dream big and see the world outside of their home country of Croatia.
"She wanted me to get out there into the world and not be limited by my own country," Lazarin says. "She wanted me to broaden my horizons."
Lazarin was happy to do just that, and now she is a Grade 11 exchange student at Canterbury.
"Staying in one place my entire life is not the kind of person I am," she says. "I knew I had to take this opportunity."
Lazarin is an exchange student through ASSIST, a "U.S.-based nonprofit organization that matches academically talented, multi-lingual international students with American independent secondary schools." Students stay at their location for a year, fully immersing themselves in the culture, classes, and extracurricular activities at their school. Lazarin said the ASSIST program really prepared her for her time at Canterbury.
Before coming to Fort Wayne, Lazarin spent four days in Boston with other ASSIST students, where they spent time learning more about the culture they would be experiencing.
"The support from ASSIST is amazing," she said. "I was really set up and prepared for all of the changes."
Canterbury's Martin and Petra Seifert serve as Lazarin's host family, and they have welcomed her with open arms. They've taken trips to the zoo, gone kayaking and tubing, and they spend a lot of time at the gym.
It was an easy transition for Larazin, who says her host family made her feel right at home.
"We really get along," Lazarin says. "We have similar qualities and characteristics. From day one they have been so welcoming."
The rigor of Canterbury's high school classes has been a big adjustment for Lazarin, but she's felt great support from her teachers.
"The teachers are always there for you, and they want you to ask questions," she says. "They really want to help you, and they really are available like they say they are."
Besides finishing her Grade 11 year at Canterbury, Lazarin isn't sure what the future holds, other than she knows she wants to travel and see as much of the world as possible.
Lazarin also said that in the four months she's been here, she's changed for the better.
"You become more independent, and think for yourself," she says. "You see what it's like in the world. You're not just limited by your country, or your region, or your family. I didn't ever think I'd be here, but this happened, and it's even better than I imagined."
This story is the second in a three-part series highlighting the International Student Program at Canterbury School. To learn more about International Admissions, click here.