The summer of 2010, senior Morgan Highfill traveled about 4,000 miles away from her Missouri home and moved to the Netherlands leaving behind friends, family, and boyfriend, Adam Rebhen.
“I was pretty sad when I found out she was leaving,” Rebhen said. “But I was relieved that she wasn’t going to be gone forever.” The Highfill family moved to the Netherlands because Steve Highfill, Morgan’s dad, was positioned there for a temporary two year assignment.
“It was pretty cool to think that we were traveling to all the places we have read about in history class,” Mother Joyce Highfill said. While away, Morgan and her sister Paige attended the American International School, a community of students from around the world who travel abroad with their families. With only about 90 kids in the 2013 class, the American International School allowed its students to become quickly adapted into the new environment.
“It was like one big family since the classes were so small,” Morgan said. Over school breaks, the Highfills would travel to famous European sites, such as the Eiffel Tower or the Leaning Tower of Pisa. “My favorite place to visit was Venice, Italy,” Morgan said. “The weather was warm and sunny. I was used to windy and foggy, so it was a nice change.”
July 6 of this year, Morgan, Mom and Paige returned home. Dad stayed in the Netherlands to continue working. He is expected home sometime this semester. Family, friends and their dog Daisy greeted them with smiles.“I can’t even express how much I love her being home,” Rebhen said.
Looking back on the experience, Morgan sees the opportunity as a positive thing. She plans to go to a University somewhere in the states, but sees the possibility of visiting the Netherlands and keeps in close touch with the friends she made while there. “I’m thankful for it because it taught me a
lot,” Morgan said. “I feel like I’m more aware of global problems and what is going on in the world. But I’m glad to be home.”