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Foreign exchange students detail what life is like far from home

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Every year, students from all over the world leave their home countries by themselves to live in the United States. They stay with a host family and live an American life for the school year without any family or friends. Sounds scary? From personal experience, I can tell it definitely is. As all those students, I left Brazil five months ago to come to Minnesota. Adapting to a new school and new schedule can be hard but it’s even harder when everything is new: new country,
new language, new people and new family. Being an exchange student is finding a whole new world you didn’t know. Each country is unique and has its differences. I talked to two exchange students from Lakeville South: Luca Zillikens from Germany and Nerea Ugarte from Spain, and
they told me how different is America from their home countries.

Being an exchange student is finding a whole new world you didn’t know. Each country is unique and has its differences. I talked to two exchange students from Lakeville South: Luca Zillikens from Germany and Nerea Ugarte from Spain, and they told me how different is America from their home countries. First I asked them why they decided to go on and this experience and come to the US. While Ugarte said she was bored in Spain and wanted to try something new. “I knew friends who came to visit the United States and really like it. I also wanted to learn a new language in a popular place.”

“I knew friends who came to visit the United States and really like it. I also wanted to learn a new language in a popular place.””

— Luca Zillikens

Zillikens said. “I think it’s really weird that they can drive when you are 16-years old, in Spain you can only drive when you are 18-years old.” Ugarte thought that was a weird thing she saw here. She also said that one of the things she misses most about Spain is the public transport and walking anywhere. Like Ugarte, I can tell that in my city in Brazil it was much easier to move around walking, which is hard in a suburb like Lakeville. Zillikens said that many things are so big here,
streets and places, compared to German. “We have a totally different school system, we don’t have the same subjects every day and we have 12 subjects slip out in one week,” Zillikens said when asked how school is different. In addition, Ugarte commented that here we have way more activities and it’s much bigger than in Spain. Some exchange students love the food in America, others not so much. But they both seemed to enjoy to enjoy food here. “I can’t choose what food I like better, because I like both in different ways, my favorite american food is fried cheese curds.”, Ugarte said. Zillikens mentioned that he misses the food in Germany and it is definitely healthier there, but he likes it here too.

In addition, Ugarte commented that here we have way more activities and it’s much bigger than in Spain. Some exchange students love the food in America, others not so much. But they both seemed to enjoy food here. “I can’t choose what food I like better, because I like both in different ways, my favorite American food is fried cheese curds.”, Ugarte said. Zillikens mentioned that he misses the food in Germany and it is definitely healthier there, but he likes it here too.
A lot of people come to United States with the plan of moving in the future and living here. That is not what seems to be in the plan of the exchange students from Lakeville South. I personally can say although I really like it here, I wanna go to College in Brazil close to my family. “My plans are to go back to Germany, graduate and go to College. I do think about going to College here, but I’m not sure I wanna pay for it when I can have free education at home.” Ugarte also told me that College in the U.S is too expensive so she would do it in Spain. Experiencing a new culture is something really amazing and you learn so much from it. The best part is sharing it with people from different places, although we don’t all speak the
same language we all have the same goal: learning and exploring what is out there in the world.

 

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From all over the world