Terça-feira, 22/5/2018 | : : UTC-4
The Reflection

Foreign exchange’s childhood dreams come true

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Exchange student Barbora Vicanova. Photo by Keyshawn Wilson

As a child, Barbora Vicanova always dreamed of coming to the United States. Over time, however, she had completely forgotten about this dream. One day, she randomly mentioned to her family that she wanted to move here.

The registration process was the most tedious part for her. The actual form itself is around 30 pages.

“Everything about you is written down on this form,” she said. “You write things from allergies, to family, to medical history, everything about your entire life.”

After moving here, it was quite easy for her to stay in touch with her family back home, but they don’t talk as much as most would think. Instead, she texts her family most of the time, due to the six hour time difference. She calls them twice a month, but said she tries to call more.

Vicanova finds many things interesting, like the people here. She was really surprised at how quickly people conversed with one another.

“People are so friendly,” she said. “They’re always saying hi and smiling at you.”

In her home country, Slovakia, she said that strangers don’t say hi to you or smile. They just mind their own business. She said she like how people opened up quickly and welcomed her into the school–which made it much easier than school than at home. While being in the United States, she has been two schools: Mattawan and Gull Lake.

Barbora said her experience with one of her host families was tenuous at times.

“It was pretty bad the first time,” she said. “The biggest deal was with the host family and their own issues. Second move, wasn’t that bad, which was here at Gull Lake. I knew some people here like Greta and Juan.”

As for the way high school works here in the United States, she said that school for her is easier here, but it’s other differences that surprised her.

“Some things are really different. It’s really weird when you arrive, but the kids at home go and hang out after school. They can drink 16 with beer, but everything else is 18. It’s not a bad thing that we drink, nobody really cares,” said Vicanova.

“The food portioning is really different here,” she said. “There’s no sports in school in my home country. If you want to do them, you had to do them outside of school.”

After returning to her home country, she wants to graduate with her actual class. After that, Vicanova said she really wants to go to college. Once she finishes that, she wants to continue to travel around to other different countries.






Annabelle Page

I am a Senior, in my second year being on staff with the Reflection. I write a lot of opinion articles and cheer articles, along with odd end ones. I spend most of my time with the marching band, practicing for colorguard. In the winter, I am on the competitive cheer team at the school. I spend most of my fridays performing with the band at the home football games. I love drawing and participating in school events.


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