Meet the Foreign Exchange Students: Irine Pangau

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Meet the Foreign Exchange Students: Irine Pangau

Irine stands under her home country's flag.

Irine stands under her home country's flag.

Photo by Abigail Croushore

Irine stands under her home country's flag.

Photo by Abigail Croushore

Photo by Abigail Croushore

Irine stands under her home country's flag.

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Irine Pangau is one of our four exchange students this year. Her hometown is Balikpapan, Indonesia. It is a port city located on the island of Borneo. Balikpapan has a population of 557,579, including Irine and her mother and father.

Pangau said the food there is significantly different than the food we have here. According to her, they eat “lots of rice and chicken. And chile paste sauce.” Chile paste sauce is a spicy all-purpose condiment. When asked about the biggest differences in the food in the United States, and the food in Indonesia, she said that Indonesian food has many more spices in it. The food there has a very rich flavor. Her favorite food in the United States is cheese curds.

People in her country go out and about wearing long pants and sweaters, even when it’s 100 degrees out. They don’t wear short skirts or short pants or sleeveless tops.

Pangau’s school is hard; they have to be there at 6:30 a.m. and they don’t go home until 4 p.m. They have 16 lessons per semester. They don’t get to choose what their lessons are, and their is homework every single night. After being asked if she liked this school or her school more, Pangau responded, “I like this school more,” due to fewer classes and shorter days.

Pangau is very involved in her home country. She is the president in Student Council and she participated in a ceremony every single Monday. She was also a part of the school police and choir.

Because she is an only child, she is very close with her parents. They have no other family in Balikpapan.

In Balikpapan, they have a different app that has the concept as Snapchat, but still isn’t as big as Snapchat is here in the United States.

Of everything back home, Pangau misses sleeping with her parents and eating spicy food.

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