Exchange students share their backgrounds

Over the summer, Vilde Rogeberg from Oslo, Norway, Guilherme Sieves from Rio do Sul, Brazil, and Giulia Sarra from Schleumen, Switzerland left their homes and flew thousands of miles to join San Marin students for the 2019- 2020 school year. Rogeberg
and Sieves are seniors, while Sarra is a junior.

While the students all had various reasons for coming to America, they all agreed that they wanted to better their English and experience a new culture.

“I wanted to experience something different and change up my life,” Rogeberg said. “I wanted to experience American high school and the [school] spirit.”

There are many cultural and social differences between the students’ home countries and America. These differences are mostly welcomed because the students have come to a new country to experience a new culture.

“Every week I’m discovering something new,” Sieves said. In terms of traveling and seeing the world, Sarra encourages “getting to know the people that live there,” saying “that’s how you get to know the culture.”

Sarra has found comfort in comparing cultural differences she notices with other exchange students, including Rogeberg, who have similar lives in their home countries.

“I miss the comfort you get from your real family,” Rogeberg said. “You don’t get [that] from a host family.”

Rogeberg has also been pleasantly surprised and says that she will miss the weather, her host family and friends greatly after returning to Norway in June.

Sieves agrees that the community and meeting new people has improved his year as well.

“I miss my family a lot,” Sieves said. “But besides that, I am feeling at home here. Everyone is being so nice and receptive that there is no way to be homesick.”

These students have also stayed busy by joining San
Marin’s sports teams. Sieves joined the football team and Rogeberg and Sarra both
played water polo in the fall. Rogeberg and Sarra’s waterpolo coach, Robert
Duffield, described them as “positive and outgoing” and said that they educated other
students on the different ways of life around the world.

Rogeberg advises that people “be grateful” for the opportunities they are given and every new thing they are able to experience in life.

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