International Upbringing: Senior Henry FitzGerald’s unique childhood shapes a future of adventure


Will Baska

Senior Henry FitzGerald grew up in 3 countries in Africa and Asia.

Will Baska, Staff Writer

Nepal, Uzbekistan, Morocco – these are places that to the average American high school student seem completely alien, but to senior Henry FitzGerald, these countries were home until the age of 5.

“I think it made me a little bit more open to other cultures because I experienced it when I was growing up,” he said. 

FitzGerald’s family was not moving around the world just for the fun of it, but because his parents were a part of the U.S. Peace Corps, providing developmental assistance to nations in need.

“It helped me want to experience other cultures,” FitzGerald said. “I want to be a part of them and learn from them,”

Learn from them he did, as FitzGerald’s first few years of education were experienced in Morocco. Henry and his sister, Norah, were both raised in a completely foreign learning environment that involved the use of non-English languages.

“I was fluent in French because that’s what they were speaking at my grade school,” FitzGerald said. “My little sister actually spoke Arabic, because she went to an Arabic speaking pre-school,”

Although FitzGerald showed thorough sentimentality regarding his time in Morocco, he said life in the U.S. had one distinctly American advantage.

“I like the food here more,” FitzGerald said “Food over there is pretty much just couscous and whatever meat you put in the couscous.”

Although FitzGerald said he has no regrets on moving back to his parents’ home of Kansas City, his curiosity for other cultures born in his youth continues to shine through today, as he dreams of returning to his old home for an extended period of time.

“I want to see these places from a grown-up version of myself,” FitzGerald said. “I want to see how these places have changed through a matured perspective.”

As FitzGerald prepares for another defining period of his life — college — he is especially grateful for his international milieu. 

“The cultures were so different, and I’m so glad I got to experience that,” he said. “Growing up in different environments, I think was really healthy for me.”