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PANTHER POST: Vietnam native experiences Park Rapids

Thong Phan

Foreign exchange student Thong Phan enjoys the small town of Park Rapids and its high school.

Junior Phan came from Vietnam.

He has only lived in Minnesota for eight months but has already made some good memories. When Phan was asked what was his favorite memory so far he said, "Drama and speech and friends." He had no bad memories.

Even though Phan missed his flight to Park Rapids because "the door kept beeping" and had to stay six hours in the Minneapolis airport he said with a chuckle "[the airport] was fun because they had Wi-Fi and I could goof around."

Phan joined the Park Rapids High School speech team. When senior Nathan Gebhard, speech state champion, was asked about his friend Phan the first words said were, "Tom Phan is amazing."

Phan's English has improved well enough to go to speech section finals. He gave his speech on the Vietnamese educational system and got third alternate. "Everyone was really good. I just had to do my best," said Phan.

He is looking forward to going back to Vietnam for the summer and seeing his family and friends again.

Until then Phan plans on going to his first prom, keeping up with his school work and taking time to relax and spending time with friends because he may not see them again for a long time.