Exchange Students’ Adventures in Ohio’s Largest Playground

Warren County’s convenient, centralized location has long made it a popular destination for road-tripping U.S. travelers, but its record-breaking roller coasters, outdoor adventures, and historic hideaways also draw visitors from much, much further away. This summer we learned that several foreign exchange students from France, Switzerland, Poland, and Germany were exploring our county with a host family from Franklin, Ohio. We were fascinated to hear about their most memorable experiences in Ohio’s Largest Playground. Here’s what we learned!

An exhibit displaying Native American housing at Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve | Oregina, OH

An exhibit displaying Native American housing at Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve | Oregonia, OH

The students’ first stop was Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve in Oregonia. Home to more than 2,000 years of Native American history, the site proved to be not only a fun-filled outdoor adventure, but also an incredibly educational opportunity for the students, none of whom had ever visited the United States.

“I take many memories back to France about your Warren County. It is so beautiful in Warren County. I learned many things about American Indians at Fort Ancient. The hike was great. The museum was interesting. We met real American Indians. They talked to us and played drums and showed us beads. We canoed down the Little Miami River. Warren County is a wonderful place for a European to visit.”
– Thibault V., France

“Fort Ancient was really an interesting place. I learned a lot about American Indians that I didn’t know. It was amazing to see real American Indians, hear their drums and see their wigwams.” – Tadeusz K., Switzerland

Warren County Historical Society & Museum | Lebanon, Ohio

Warren County Historical Society & Museum | Lebanon, Ohio

Stop number two on their Warren County tour brought the students to Historic Downtown Lebanon’s Warren County Historical Society & Museum, where they gained an even more intimate understanding of Southwest Ohio’s history–and were pleasantly surprised by the fun they found!

“All of us Europeans thought a museum must be boring, but it wasn’t! When we were taught in school about America we just got the big things, so it was very interesting to know more about more normal things like how people lived. I was especially interested in the powder factory. One woman was able to tell me everything about it!”
– Fabian K., Germany

“[It was a] great experience to discover the birth of this country and its evolution in the 18th and 19th centuries. I particuarly appreciated the reproductions of 18th century shops. They seem really realistic.” – Dimitri E., Switzerland

“I loved the Warren County Museum. I found interest in the mammoth that was found on a farm in Warren County. I enjoyed seeing the America Indian tools and rocks, too. It was good for me to learn about the history around my American family’s home.” – Tadeusz K, Switzerland

Firehawk at Kings Island | Mason, Ohio

Firehawk at Kings Island | Mason, Ohio

Finally, the students’ journey through Southwest Ohio took them to Kings Island for an action-packed day filled with plenty of firsts!

“[This] was the first time that I went to an amusement park and I really enjoyed it. There is everything that you could wish. A lot of sensations, surprises, and fun. When you are with friends or your family it’s perfect!” – Dimitri E., Switzerland

“When the [man] at the radio station told us that this would be the best day [of our] summer, I was not really sure! But after this day and all the fun, I think the day was one of the best. The best ride was Firehawk because it was my first lying down roller coaster! And the best thing was sitting on the balcony to eat pizza during the fireworks!” – Kasper P., Poland

“I have been to a small amusement park in France, but Kings Island was so much better! The roller coasters were awesome! I will never forget this special day…We have many memories of Kings Island to take home to Europe with us.” – Thibault V., France

“Our day at Kings Island was really amazing! All the rides were unique and entertaining…I will always remember this amazing experience and will happily come back.” -Tadeusz K., Switzerland

Come back they will, as their American host mom has already confirmed that all of the students plan to return soon!

“When we learned that we would have five European exchange students at our home this summer, we were excited! None of the boys had ever been to America, so Warren County was going to be their first taste. Warren County did not let them down! They loved Ft. Ancient, the Warren County History Museum, and Kings Island. They loved it so much here that their parents have confirmed that they are all returning in the summer [next year]! – Bridgette L, Warren County Local

Whether you’re traveling from near or far, a Warren County getaway is well worth the trip! Plan your visit today at

The students and their American host family | Franklin, Ohio

The students and their American host family | Franklin, Ohio


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