Belgian student adjusts to new school


The De Raedt brothers William (Left) Fred (Right)

Brandon Frederick, Staff Reporter

Every now and then, Vernon Hills High School is fortunate enough to receive students from foreign countries for their senior year of high school.  One of those students is Belgian exchange student William de Raedt, whose brother graduated from Vernon Hills in 2014.  William is in his senior year and he seems to be enjoying his stay here.


Q:  What’s something you have noticed about American culture during your stay here?

A: Well, one thing (is) I’ve never been in a place where people are more open about their beliefs and who they are as a person.  I think that’s cool.  Food’s a lot cheaper here too, and I like that a lot.  The girls are pretty and everyone seems to have a nice and open personality


Q: Are there any distinct differences between the United States and Belgium that you have noticed: culture wise?

A: I noticed that your Belgian waffles are in fact not Belgian at all and once you’ve had the real thing, you’ll understand why I don’t like your version.  The chocolate is pretty close, but not the waffles.  In Belgium, it’s customary to greet someone by kissing them on the cheek three times.


Q: Have there been any interesting experiences during your time here? Any awkward occurrences?

A: I was hanging out with some friends and I was showing one of them how to dance and I stepped on her foot and broke it, so, that was kind of bad.  The first week I was here, things were kind of awkward.  People didn’t really know me, but when I told them who I was they would always reply with, “Oh, you’re Fred’s brother.” So that was kind of cool.  


Q: Was it hard to make friends here?
A: I mean, like I said, people have a very open personality here and I felt like people were very accepting of me.  People like Karl Montoya kind of took me in which was pretty cool because we had never met before.