Foreign exchange students being introduced to America


Manuel Combarro and Barbara Alicia Araujo-Teixeria stand in front of SHS.

Coming to America, all the way from Cantabria, Spain, Manuel Combarro is a foreign exchange student at SHS this current school year. Throughout Combarro’s stay, he will be living with SHS orchestra teacher Mr. Thomas Wright. He is one of the newest addition to the music department.

There are many differences that Combarro has noticed since he has been here in America. Some qualities he misses from his home in Spain are absent in American culture. They each have special things about them that the other place does not have.

“We have a lot of mountains and seas,” Combarro said. “The mountains are what I miss the most.”

Combarro says that Americans do not get to see many mountains here, but back at home, they are all over the place. He says that, contrary to his home, America is very flat. Spain has more monuments to visit and tour and more unique cities than he’s seen in his short time in America. Combarro has noticed that the people here in America are more open than the people back in Spain, which creates a challenge for him.

“In Spain, where I live, people are more shy than here,” Combarro said.

His favorite place in Spain is his high school which he says is much smaller than SHS. Combarro’s school in Spain is not merely a high school, it has every grade from kindergarten through twelfth. This is because there are only about 250 students altogether. One thing Combarro is going to have to get used to is only being able to speak to his parents and loved ones back home every 15 days.

Although there are many differences between America and Spain, the differences between America and San Paulo are even greater. Barbara Alicia Araujo-Teixeira is also a new foreign student at SHS, traveling here all the way from San Paulo, Brazil.

“Everything from the food, schools, cars, and highways are different,” Araujo-Teixeira said. “Everything here is different.”

The schools in Brazil do not have any lockers and their class systems are the total opposite of the system here, according to Araujo-Teixeira. While schools in America have bells that dismiss the students from one class to another, when the bell rings in San Paulo, the teachers are the ones to leave and then head to another classroom of students.

Although Araujo-Teixeira has not been at SHS long, her impression of SHS, its staff and students is a good one and she says that she thinks she is going to like it here. She is excited about being at SHS even though she says she does not know anyone yet.

Araujo-Teixeira says that in Brazil, her favorite things to do were outdoor activities, swimming and traveling and the hardest change for her being here, was the weather.

“The summer here is like my winter, so I am really cold,” Araujo-Teixeira said.

She says that the language is sometimes difficult to understand because she has trouble figuring out which word to use or how to phrase things.

Araujo-Teixeira said if she could bring one person to America it would be her best friend; saying how much her friend would like everything about America. Araujo-Teixeira says her best friend would love it.