2018-01-27 / The Bullhorn

From the Netherlands to NC: ‘Roxboro like a second home’


Marie-Claire Evers Marie-Claire Evers Seventeen- year- o l d Marie-Claire Evers transformed her life last fall as she traded her home in Almere, a city in the Netherlands, for a 10-month experience in Roxboro, where she will complete her senior year at Roxboro Community School (RCS).

After calling Roxboro home for the first 23 years of her life, Evers’ mother made the decision to study abroad as she left Roxboro for Holland — and never looked back.

Evers said that she had wanted to study in different countries for as long as she could remember, but especially in America, where her mother grew up.

“When my senior year in Holland came, I really had to choose what to do next, so it seemed [like] the best time to go,” she said.

“Roxboro is like a second home to me,” said Evers, who has come to visit her mother’s family during the summer at least 15 times. Because of this, the decision to uproot her life was less daunting than it may seem.

While she is here, Evers is staying with her mother’s best friend from elementary and high school, Kimmie Yarborough, and her family, as they assume legal guardianship of her.

Evers said that she made the decision to attend RCS for several reasons, the first being that the Yarboroughs’ daughter Bryce attends RCS and the second being the school’s smaller scale.

“Besides,” she said, “it just feels like the right school for me.”

Evers previously attended a school focused on the arts.

The school is named The Arte College and is located about five minutes from her home in Almere.

Like most kids in Holland, she was used to biking or walking to school every day.

The Arte College, according to Evers, is a new type of school that has open spaces for classes.

“This means that two or three classes can go on at the same time in the same space. Sometimes it is hard to focus because there are always distractions,” said Evers.

Evers said she always attended public school, so her core classes have always been in Dutch, her first language.

She was raised bilingually, because her mother spoke to her in English.

“[My mother] used to read to me in English every day, but my dad always spoke [to me in] Dutch. I could switch back and forth between languages by the time I was about five years old,” said Evers.

Besides Dutch and English, Evers said she also had one year of German.

She said her favorite thing to do is play field hockey, an important sport in Holland that many kids begin lessons for at a very young age.

In her hometown of Almere, there is a field hockey club with about 2,000 members.

“I would have practice three times a week, with games on the weekend,” said Evers.

Along with field hockey, for about two years, Evers did some modeling.

“When I was 15, a scout approached me while I was in town shopping,” Evers continued, “[but] modeling isn’t really my passion, I would rather be on the hockey field, [so] I don’t do it very much.”

Evers is undergoing a small culture shock, but she says it is promising that parts of her life in Holland seem to align with the lives of teens in Roxboro. She has one sister named Isabelle who is 20 and in her first year of college at the University of Amsterdam.

“We are very close,” said Evers, “[so she] is not happy about my decision, but [she] understands. She wants me to be happy.”

“I am only in Roxboro for about 10 months, so I want to make the best of it and get the most out of it that I can. I will miss being [in Roxboro],” Evers said. (She did return home for Christmas.)

Evers wants her American classmates to know that she is “really excited to have the opportunity to be with [them] and to go to school at RCS.”

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