Scottsdale welcomes 33 foreign exchange high school students

Coronado High School foreign exchange student, Luana from Brazil. (submitted photo)

This school year, over 40 high school students from foreign countries are in the Scottsdale-area for a year of study.

While experiencing America, the foreign exchange students also provide a global education experience for all the students whom they come in contact with.

But, as with all new students, they arrive scared and without friends. As exchange students, they are often away from their parents for the first time, according to a press release.

To make them feel welcome and to help them meet new friends, 20 local student leaders held a “Welcome to Scottsdale” event on Sunday, Aug. 27. Thirty-three foreign students from Japan to Sweden to Brazil, and many other countries experienced the true hospitality of Scottsdale.

One of the students, Luana from Brazil, shared that she came to Scottsdale to improve her English, become better acquainted with the American culture and meet new people. Luana attends Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Ave., in Scottsdale.

While she has visited the U.S. before, Luana says, by living with a host family and attending school in Scottsdale, she has already learned Americans are much nicer than she experienced as a tourist.

Everyone shared food from their native country at the Welcome to Scottsdale event. The local students, all members of the Scottsdale Sister Cities Junior Board, led them through an ice-breaker exercise, the press release stated. This was followed by several games which allowed the students to laugh, become acquainted, and enjoy a multi-cultural experience.

Beata from Sweden (submitted photo)

Another student, Beata from Sweden became an exchange student to experience American high school culture, the press release stated. She is attending Arcadia High School, 4703 E. Indian School Road.

Beata says her biggest surprise was the heat of the Scottsdale summer — far different than in Sweden, she said.

So far, Beata says she has found Scottsdale students to be nice and welcoming.

The Junior Board is composed of student leaders with an interest in becoming globally aware and knowledgeable, the press release stated. They represent six of the local high schools: Arcadia, Chaparral, Coronado, Desert Mountain, Saguaro and Scottsdale Prep.

Scottsdale Sister Cities Association cooperates with the local schools for the conduct of International Clubs at the high schools. Students who have an interest in becoming more globally aware should seek-out and join their high school International Club.

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Editor’s Note: the full names of the foreign exchange students have been left out at their request.

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