Manistee introduces baseball to foreign students

Living in a foreign country over 6,000 miles from home can be a daunting task for anyone.

Factor in a global pandemic, being too young to vote in an election, and landing in a small town on the northwest coast of Michigan and you have the real-life situation of two foreign students at Manistee High School.

Frederik Thorson and Emil Bauangaard have spent this school year at Manistee High School and are ending their time in the United States playing our nation’s pastime: baseball.

Both entered the foreign student exchange program based on their family backgrounds. Thorson’s parents were both exchange students, and Bauangaard’s sister also spent time away from home as an exchange student.


Although the duo spent little time in America, the two dealt with their share of culture shock.

“The first time I went shopping it was so big,” Thorson said. “There was so much food. I wasn’t used to that. »

Bauangaard was quick to notice the difference in size between America and his native Denmark.

“Everything is bigger,” he says. “Here, everything is so dispersed. You have to drive everything.

Baseball isn’t the only sport they’ve been exposed to while here.

Both were part of the Chippewas boys’ football team that lost 1-0 to Big Rapids in the district title game. Bauangaard was part of the cooperative ski team.

Thorson was the first of the duo to be exposed to the baseball game of football teammates Ethan Edmondson and Mason Robinson.

“I played a little baseball with them on weekends in the fall because I thought it would be fun to try,” Thorson said. “After that, I waited until spring to play again.”

“I’ve heard of it before too, but I’ve never played it,” Bauangaard said. “It’s a very tactical game.”

Both were welcomed with open arms throughout their stay at Manistee.

“People are really welcoming here,” Thorson said. “It didn’t take long to make friends. It was really nice.

“People are very open,” Bauangaard said. “It’s really easy to connect with people and make friends.”

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