Izabela Lackova: From Slovakia to Omaha

Exchange student finds a home in Omaha

Zoe Clark, Copy Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Favorite color? Blue. Favorite subject? Algebra. Favorite food? Pizza. Fluent languages? Slovak, Polish, Czech, English and German.

Junior Izabela Lackova is just like any other American teenager, except for the fact that she is not American. Izabela is a transfer student from Slovakia who has become like family to many at Skutt Catholic.

Coming from a family of seven, Izabela is the third oldest in her family. Her older sister was able to study in Wisconsin four years ago thanks to a program called Global Outreach.

“When she came back, she was a completely different person,” said Lackova. “She was so open and cheerful and said it was an amazing experience, and so I wanted to do the same thing,” Lackova said.

In the course of two months Izabela completed a 40-page application, which included recommendations from priests and teachers. Hoping to go to Wisconsin and follow in the footsteps of her older sister, the news that she would be studying in Nebraska came as quite a shock.

“I got the email saying I would be going to Skutt Catholic in Omaha, Nebraska and I was like ‘What? Where is this?’ but now I couldn’t be happier,” Lackova said.

After coming to love Skutt Catholic and Omaha as a whole, Izabela recounted how different her experience has been from what she expected.

“When we think of America, we think of American movies like High School Musical with everyone being happy and singing in the halls, so that’s actually what people think,” said Lackova. “I came here and it was so different,” Lackova said.

Another big difference is that because the schools are smaller where Lackova lives, school sports don’t really exist; it is primarily club sports. Because of this, she made sure to take advantage of Skutt Catholic sports including playing softball in the fall, dancing in Allegro through the winter, and trying out for tennis in the spring.

Isabela also found it difficult to wrap her brain around how many clubs and activities everyone does.

“I was very surprised about how busy people are here. It seems like people live faster here. You always have something to do,” said Lackova. “Homework is also due much sooner here,” Lackova said.

Despite pizza being one of this exchange student’s favorite foods, she makes it clear that it is a very American choice. In Slovakia, it would instead be chicken breast with rice.

“Everyone cooks in Slovakia. A normal meal is some type of meat with rice or potatoes. Even school lunches are homemade,” Lackova said.

Izabela continues to express how much she loves being in the US and hopes to be able to come back for college at University of Nebraska Omaha or University of Nebraska Lincoln. Once there, she is looking to study international management or economics.

Zoe Clark

Zoe became a member of The Flightline in August of 2017. She is a senior this year involved in robotics, academic decathlon, and many other electives, and spends what little free time she has reading. You can email her at [email protected]