A number of students from around the world are calling Morro Bay High School (MBHS) their temporary home this year. MBHS is welcoming 22 foreign exchange students, from countries ranging from Brazil to Germany. Exchange students range from grades 9 to 12 and have become integral to the culture of our school, bringing their experiences and knowledge from their home countries to Morro Bay High School’s classrooms.
Foreign exchange students, who have been connected to Morro Bay through the various programs. Through this, they have the chance to study for either a semester or year, taking classes that reflect their previous knowledge. This means that foreign exchange students are able to continue their education while also gaining what will hopefully be life-changing experiences: they can see an entirely new country, make friends from a completely different culture, and, hopefully, grow to have a more global worldview.
In order to get a better perspective on what it is like to be a foreign exchange student, The Spyglass recently interviewed Carola De Gara. A senior from Italy, Carola said that she chose Morro Bay based on the recommendation of one of her peers: “I heard about a girl who’s been here…in SLO. She told me that it’s way better to choose a small city so you can get to know more people and get [to know] a group in the school. And so I just chose Morro Bay because I really like nature and the ocean.”
Speaking about what she considers the goal of an exchange program, Carola said “I think that getting to know a lot of people, making new friends, getting in touch with a new culture, and having fun [is the purpose].” Her main takeaway from the culture of our school is “the relationship between students and teachers because it’s really the opposite of what we have in Italy. Here, teachers are really friendly and I like that.” She has also had fun going to local beaches and exploring Morro Bay.
From this interview, it can be seen that students are using this opportunity to learn more about our town and, by extension, our nation. The foreign exchange program is an extremely unique experience, and the students who have undertaken this journey should be commended by their courage and adventurous spirit. On behalf of the school, The Spyglass welcomes all of the foreign exchange students to our campus.