From The Land Down Under to A World of Wonder: Australian Exchange Student at NAHS


Hectic morning rush: Junior exchange student Abi Craik and her host family prepare for the day and quickly shuffle out the door to school.

9,500 miles from her home in Avoca Beach, Australia, Junior Abi Craik will be spending the next six months as a North Atlanta student. That means Friday football games, Halloween festivities, and fast food–all things that are second nature to those of us living in America, but foreign concepts (literally) to our new student. Craik will not only experience what it’s like to be an American, but a Dub as well.

Living in a new country grants a plethora of new opportunities, and above all else, new faces. North Atlanta, with its 11 stories and over 2000 students, isn’t necessarily the easiest school to be new at. It is not easy to adjust to such a different environment, however, Craik has no choice but to jump right in. She’s involving herself well and has already decided to try out for the girls’ basketball team! Her new friend, Junior Lindsey Phillips, said, “I transferred from another school and that was difficult enough. I can’t nearly imagine moving from another country.” 

Going abroad has not been much of an option these past several years due to COVID-19. So as things began to rebound, Craik thought it was the perfect opportunity to get out and see the world. While in America, Craik is living with a sweet host family that is so helpful and supportive of her (and is a lot less strict than her own family back home). So far, she’s loved the school and the new food. She’s also had to grow accustomed to America’s seemingly excessive tipping–something Australians don’t do. Her first impressions of Atlanta and NAHS have been overall positive, and as for the food she said, “I’ve especially loved Honeybuns, but I won’t eat too many.” 

Often, when we think of Australia, we think of kangaroos, the Outback, and fancy accents.  Meanwhile, kangaroos are the squirrels of Australia, and can you believe- from her point of view- WE have an accent?! It would seem as if North Atlanta students are learning just as much from Craik as she is learning from them. “She is so sweet,” said Junior Alexandra Kazamias. “I love hearing her stories about her life back home.”

As delightful Dubs do, we must help Craik acclimate to our hectic hallways and of course, give her a warm welcome into the WARRZONE. And at least for the next 6 months, Craik will have to learn to love the Braves, tolerate country music, and hate rush hour traffic.