Sophomore Starts Exchange Program

Abbie Cunningham, Editor in Chief

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    Leaving the bustling streets of Spain, the girl boarded the plane to America. As the first day began, the butterflies began to swarm in her stomach as everyone rushed around the familiar school and people. Her adventure had begun. 

    Sophomore Theresa Zalagoza started her foreign exchange program on August 14.

   “I expected Texas to be a lot different,” Zalagoza said. “I thought it would look like the movies with cowboys and deserts everywhere, but I was excited to see it wasn’t.”

   Zalagoza is sponsored by the McDowell family. She arrived in Texas and met them on August 9.

Sophomore Theresa Zalagoza Photo by Abbie Cunningham

   “I was nervous about meeting new people at first,” Zalagoza said, “but everyone has been so welcoming and nice.”

   Zalagoza has already made new friends. Senior Alexis O’Pry welcomed Zalagoza to the school and taught her about some school traditions. 

   “It’s been super fun teaching her about our school,” O’Pry said. “I’ve had even more fun teaching her Texan slang and learning about her culture in Spain.” 

   Zalagoza decided to do the exchange program because her brother and friends had before. She wanted to experience a different culture.

   “All of my friends told great stories after their exchange programs,” Zalagoza said. “I wanted to have that experience myself.” 

   The exchange program requires her to participate in one sport, so she is involved in athletics. She plays volleyball.

   “I am still learning how to play,” Zalagoza said, “but so far I’ve enjoyed playing.”

   In Spain, students stay in one class while the teachers go to them. Each subject is brought to them. 

   “I was really excited about experiencing an American high school because of the differences,” Zalagoza said.  “Moving to each class has been unusual for me, but I’m getting used to it.”

   Although foreign exchange programs offer a change, Zalagoza misses her home in Spain. She mainly misses her family; she has three sisters and two brothers.

   “It’s been fun here,” Zalagoza said, “but I can’t wait to see my family again.”