Students explore American way of life as foreign exchange students

Dracie Davidson, Staff Writer

Two new students are not only adapting to a new school this year, but also a new culture. Sophomores Maria Miranda from Rio, Brazil and Laure Moulie from Paris, France have the opportunity to try many new things as foreign exchange students.
Miranda said the housing in the Midwestern United States was quite different than what she was used to in Rio. In Brazil, most people live in apartments.
However, Miranda was surprised at how similar life was in America to her life in Brazil.
“School is very different because the teachers change classes instead of the students and we don’t have lockers. To go to a good school, you have to go to a private school,” she said.

Miranda said, in Brazil, she takes up to 14 courses in a year and takes three language classes, including Portuguese, English and Spanish.
Miranda wanted to be an exchange student to see what American life was like.
“I want to come back to America to go to college because I think it will be a good experience for me and it will look good on my resume,” Miranda said.
Her two brothers were exchange students in America and one of them attended college at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
She says she is looking forward to experiencing snow, but is not fond of the cold.
“I had to adapt on how to dress to keep warm,” Miranda said.
Miranda’s hardest transition was living with a family that wasn’t hers. She has also had to adjust to the schedule because the students have a lot more extracurricular activities and her life got a lot more busy.
“I learned how to adapt to a new family and a new culture,” Miranda said.
Makayla Mais is the daughter of the hosts parents for Maria Miranda this year. This is Mais’ second year participating with a foreign exchange student.
“I like hosting a foreign exchange student because it gives you the chance to experience another culture,” Mais said.
Mais has learned that Brazil and Germany don’t celebrate holidays like Americans do and both cultures are very different from the U.S.
Jennifer and Jason Madura have the opportunity to host for their first time, as they took in Laure Moulie.
“Hosting a foreign exchange was a spur of the moment me and my husband made, we sat down to discuss it and look at profiles and as soon as I saw Laures I knew she’d be a great fit for our family,” Jennifer Madura said.
With the differences in the foods that they eat in France and here in America, it has been a positive change in the way the Madura family eats.
“They eat much healthier in France than we do in the United States, so having her in the house has been a positive effect on our diet and has made us all eat a little better,” Jennifer Madura said.
Laure Moulie is from Paris and the hardest transition for her was learning the language. Laure wanted to be a foreign exchange student because she is the only one in her family that hasn’t traveled.
“I want to go to college in America or England so I wanted to learn the language,” Moulie said.
Laure speaks many different languages her first language was French, she can also speaks English, Spanish, Chinese, and Latin.