The new kids on the block

Sana Tahir, Features Writer

Eagan High School has welcomed 4 foreign exchange students this school year.  These 4 students all come from very different countries and cultures compared to the US. We have 2 juniors and 2 seniors this year and all of them are very excited to be apart of the 2019-2020 school year at Eagan! 

Beatriz Cordeiro is a senior from Brazil. Bia explained that something she found odd at Eagan was how we change classes and move around quite a bit, and how we have 4 years of high school, instead of three which is what her high school back home has. She also explained that we use technology a lot more than in Brazil, “We don’t use a lot of technology in class time unless it’s technology class, that’s mainly for other things outside school.” Bia explained that she always wanted to do an exchange program and when she passed the test to be eligible to be a foreign exchange student, she took the opportunity! “ I thought I can become fluent in a new language and make new friends!” She is still exploring the many clubs we have at Eagan, but she wants to be a part of Interact. She explained that she was a part of an Interact Group in Brazil, “We have a big club there too and it’s like a family.” Bia also was in shock by the food we have here. “You have hamburgers and pizza all the time, but in Brazil, we only have this on special days!”

Alexandra Grzybowska, a junior for Germany, said that initially, she wasn’t fond of the idea of being a foreign exchange student. “When I go back to Germany, I will have to repeat the eleventh grade, but then I thought why not, it’s a good opportunity to meet new people and a new culture,” Ali explained that the biggest difference between German schools and our school is the grading system, the German grading system is by numbers, 1 being an A and 6 being an F. When asked what the weirdest American thing she’s experiences she answered by saying the questions she’s been asked. “People have asked me if we’ve celebrated Christmas, and if we have birds!” Ali is interested in being on the tennis team!

Elin Olsson, a junior from Sweden, wanted to be sent to Minnesota because she has family here! She decided to do a foreign exchange program because her mother had done it when she was in school, and Elin had come to Minnesota before and loved it! “ I came here last summer to visit my relatives and it was the best vacation I’ve had in my whole life!” Sweden’s grading system is also based on letters. She explained that lunchtime in Sweden varies and some days lunch can be an hour long. Elin plays soccer for the JV Eagan team!

Stefan Racic, a senior from Bosnia, explained that back home they don’t have lunchrooms, they go outside to eat and they don’t move to different classes, the different professors for each subject come to their class. To become eligible for the foreign exchange program he had to go through many rounds of interviews. Although Stefan hoped he would be sent to Las Vegas, he said that Minnesota isn’t bad, “I’m just happy it’s not Iowa!” Another main reason why he decided to do a program like this is that it would look good on college resumes. He explained that the bread is here is different from the bread back home, and that we take cutting the grass too seriously. “It grows like maybe 5 centimeters and people are cutting it, thinking its too big!” Stefan is also part of the football team so you’ll see him play in our remaining games!