MCHS welcomes exchange students

MCHS welcomes exchange students

Sage Santana, News Reporter

While most students had to travel only a few miles down the road to make it to their first hour, a few of our students here at MCHS had to travel hundreds of miles to make it to class before the first bell. This year, four young ladies have made the trip to spend a year at MCHS as exchange students.
Elena Cano-Nieto is a native of Madrid, Spain, where she lives with her mother, father, and older brother. She is a senior this year at MCHS , and while she is here, hopes to play for the girl’s soccer team. Cano-Nieto’s favorite pastimes are playing soccer and shopping, and here in America, she considers it even better. “I like the prices in America because they are cheaper.” says Cano-Nieto.
Something that Elena is still unaccustomed to is the early mealtimes, because in Spain, meals are served hours later than the typical American meal.
“Breakfast is so early.” Cano-Nieto says.
Despite the early breakfasts, Elena looks forward to improving her English this year, along with making some great memories. One thing that helps Elena Cano-Nieto the most through her translation here, is the fact that she stays with another exchange student, Sara Mattei.
Sara Mattei is a junior here at MCHS. Mattei is originally from Rome, Italy. At home she lives with her mother, father, and older brother. Some of Mattei’s interests include hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing basketball, although she is not yet sure if she will try out for the team here. One thing she misses the most so far is the food back home. That is, Mattei misses real Italian food.
“There is so much food here that is not like real Italian food.” says Mattei. However there is one food she does enjoy here in America.
“I only like the cookies” says Mattei “I can live with the cookies.”
The biggest shock thus far for Mattei is the change of scenery. Familiar with her native Rome, Sara now lives in a more rural area here in Michigan City. “We have more liberty back home. We do not have to drive to get somewhere, we can take ourselves.” Although there are some things to get used to, Sara is looking forward to this school year.
Along with Sara, Barbara Galanova is a junior this year. Originally from Valašské Meziříčí, a city in the Czech Republic, Galanova is 17 years old, and lives here with Cameron Bell, a sophomore at Michigan City High School, and a younger host brother. Having a host sister that goes to school with her helps Galanova acclimate to the school and life in America.
“It is very clean here, the streets are very clean. And the beach is so beautiful.” There is one thing that Barbara Galanova still has not grown accustomed to, however.
“It is not normal for me to have such early mornings” comments Galanova “I need more sleep.”
The last of the exchange students is Thanyathorn Boonsiri. Boonsiri is 15 years old, a sophomore here, and originally from Bangkok, Thailand, Boonsiri lives at home with her mother and 10 year old brother.
One thing that helps Boonsiri acclimate here is her knowledge of English. In Thailand, Boonsiri attends a Thilannd International Community School, in which students are expected to speak English during the school day. Due to this, Boonsiri has a an advantage while living here in the United States.
Here in Michigan City, Boonsiri lives with two younger host sisters, and their mother. Thanyathorn Boonsiri has a deep appreciation for music, and enjoys playing the piano, the ukulele, and singing in choir. Some things that Boonsiri is looking forward to this year include attending school events, like football games and dances, making new friends, and experiencing firsthand the life of an average American teenager. So far, one thing that Boonsiri thoroughly enjoys about America is the food.
“The food is so good here.” says Boonsiri, whose favorite foods thus far include pink lemonade and pizzas.
As these ladies contiue their time here, they look forward to making new memories and learning about life in America. Look out for the newest students, greet them with a smile, and make them feel at home.

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