NICOLE FERNANDEZ AND SYDNEY MARTINDALE
San Marcos is known for hosting exchange students from all around the world each semester. Students travel from far away locations such as Germany, Luxembourg, Norway and Israel to come to Santa Barbara hoping to gather new experiences from a different culture. With this exchange program, the students are able to have a first-hand experience in the classic American life. We interviewed sophomore exchange student Laura Schünemann, “[I came from Germany to have] a good experience, to meet new people and to improve my English.”
Our school is unique because we offer many clubs, sports, and extracurricular activities such as Red Cross club, Hands 4 Others Club and boys football and basketball. “We do not have school spirit like this back in Germany,” said junior German exchange student Alina Blitz. “…and we cannot do sports in school, like we do not have a football team or cheer.”
This results in our exchange program being suitable for those who have an interest in studying abroad.
In addition to the educational clubs provided at San Marcos, there are also many amusing activities for exchange students, including dances, football or basketball games, and even rallies. Many of the exchange students were intrigued by our school spirit and were amazed by the liveliness of our campus. With the exchange program at San Marcos, the local students can also get a taste of life in foreign countries.
Not only are the exchange students affected, but also their hosts. There are many families open to hosting a foreign exchange student. Of the family hosts, freshman Erandi De Silva, shared her thoughts as a host.
“I really enjoy it because as an only child, I love having someone to be with. I love having a sister with me.” Because of the exchange program at San Marcos, new friendships have flourished and new memories have been established.
Some of the exchange students that we have hosted this year include:
Leonard Bogner- Germany
Marina Barton- Brazil
Berit Kalus- Germany
Alina Blitz- Germany
Bruno Lopez- Brazil
Alexandra Reinert- Luxembourg
Chugan He- China
Laura Schünemann- Germany
Luca Feitosa Junqueira- Brazil
Julia Oezguec- Germany
Yi Rong- China
Yiren Wang- China
Gloria Roman- Ecuador
Nicole Scherleitner- Austria