Exchange Student Program Brings Tabor Into the Mosher Family Home

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(Courtesy Jennifer Mosher)
(L-R) Denisa Dvorakova, with host family Scarlett Mosher, Jon Marc Mosher and (mom) Jennifer Mosher pose for a selfie in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

    The Mosher family knew they had found someone special in Denisa Dvorakova, and that was before they realized they had the same kind of bird – budgies.
   Dvorakova, 18, an exchange student from Tabor, Czech Republic, connected with the Mosher Family through the Orinda Sister City program.
   Dvorakova said she had been “dreaming” about coming to the United States since she first heard about exchange student programs her freshman year of high school.
   After her application, including an essay detailing why she wanted to participate in the program, was accepted, Dvorakova was filled with excitement finally to be living out the adventures she had only read about in blogs and heard about from other students.
   Unfortunately, her plans to arrive in the U.S. during the fall of 2020 were derailed by COVID-19, pushing her trip back a year.
   There was a silver lining.
   The Mosher’s mother Jennifer explained her family had a year to correspond with Dvorakova over phone and email so that when she finally arrived Aug. 1, she “felt like a member of the family.”
   After watching her brother experience international study and her family hosting two students from Turkey and Sweden on separate occasions, Mosher said her family was excited to get to know Dvorakova, and to forge close friendships as they had with their previous guests.
   While in Orinda, Dvorakova is attending Miramonte High School. She said the biggest difference she noticed between her school – Central School of Engineering and Construction – and Miramonte is the structure of the classes.
   “It is very different,” said Dvorakova, “We have a group of around 30 that we are together with for all four years, as opposed to switching classes every period.”
   Dvorakova said she’s grateful for the kindness of her classmates and is looking forward to learning more about American culture. She currently enjoys playing on the Miramonte tennis team.
   After water skiing her second day in the states, Dvorakova said she can’t wait to explore more of the Bay Area.
   “I can’t believe it’s already been a month,” she said, “I want to do everything.”
   Sadly, anticipating the end of Dvorakova’s program in January 2022 after a great year, both Mosher and Dvorakova expressed their desire to continue their friendship long distance.
   Mosher detailed the family’s plans to attend annual medieval festivals in Tabor – as a part of the Orinda Sister City delegation – as a way to enrich their understanding of Dvorakova’s hometown while also providing a chance to see Dvorakova again.

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