Students exchange languages, cultures, homes
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Three students have made living with a new family on the other side of the world their new reality.
Junior Matheus Olivera De Souza who goes by Matt, is from Brazil and is part of the Huskie football team.
“Over the past years I’ve played goalie for two indoor soccer teams as well as handball, basketball, baseball, and volleyball.” De Souza said. While sports may have helped his transition, there are still things that are new to him.
“School in Brazil is very different. We stay in one classroom with the same kids all year, we all have the exact same schedule and learn the same things. We also don’t have sport seasons. They take place all year long.” De Souza said.
De Souza is part of an exchange program called Rotary: an organization dedicated to promoting peace, providing clean water, and supporting education. However his connection to Rotary goes deeper.
“I’ve been part of interact club for a while which is rotary for teens,” De Souza said. “We hang out and do community service. Sometimes five or six of us would go out and give free hugs or ask how people are. It’s amazing how someone can go from being grumpy to all smiles from a few words or a simple gesture.”
Junior, Josep Farre is from Tarragona, a port city northeast of Spain.
“Tarragona is on the equator so it’s hot all year. It snowed once when I was younger and it was really cool.” Farre said. “But Reno has a really high altitude. I’ll go outside to play basketball with my host brother and I couldn’t run nearly as long as I could in Tarragona without having to stop for a few seconds.”
The altitude wasn’t the only difference Farre noticed.
“When I first arrived it was like an American movie; all the different groups of kids and the large campus. It was weird but a good weird.” Farre said.
Despite being in a new country and adjusting to a new school, the language is not unfamiliar to him.
“In primary school they started teaching us English and then before I came here I started speech classes to learn grammar and slang.” Farre said.
Junior Anna Frohner is the third foreign exchange student. She comes from Austria, Germany.
“One of my friends had a friend who participated in the exchange program and it sounded really fun,” Frohner said.
“It was scary when I first got here; everything’s bigger: the streets, the cars, and the shops. But everyone here is so nice and welcoming. People always ask how I am or how my days been,” Frohner said
“But it’s very different where I’m from, people aren’t this friendly and it rains a lot there compared to the heat here,” Frohner said.
While the differences are strange for them the teachers seem to enjoy the diversity
“They seem more driven than some of the other students. They always ask questions and are really outgoing with others,” history teacher Aaron Foster said. “They’re just excited to learn.”