Foreign exchange student experiences new culture

By: Erin Pratt

Could you imagine being away from your home for a year? With no family or friends? That is exactly what senior Gabby Guimaraes is experiencing. Guimaraes has been in the states since August and has been staying with junior Alyssa Rester’s family. “ Living with someone new is definitely something I had to get used to, but now I feel like she’s been with our family my whole life. It’s like having a sister in the house and I love spending time with her and learning things about her culture and teaching her stuff about ours,” Rester said.

“Being in America is a dream for everyone and is such an amazing experience but it has also been hard and scary,” said Guimaraes. “It is something that will change me forever; it’s like a whole lifetime in a year. You need to be brave enough to solve your problems alone and to open up to your host family.”

Since being here Guimaraes has joined Central’s cheer team for the sideline and competitive season. Captain and senior Hannah Vickory is super happy to have Guimaraes on the team. “It’s been really cool to be able to hang out with Gabby and teach her so many things about cheer. It’s amazing to see how much someone from another culture can soak up crazy amounts of information and meet such high expectations for a cheer team. She’s so sweet and it feels like I’ve been friends with her forever. It’s cool to feel like I have been able to have such an impact on her life knowing how much she loves cheering with the em and how great of an experience she’s had,” Vickory said.

Although Guimaraes is technically only a junior back in Brazil, she’s been made a senior here so she can experience senior year in America. “The routine of life is completely different and it’s hard to adjust to it. I love getting to know this country and I’ve had such an amazing time here and I can’t wait to make more memories,” Guimaraes said.

Guimaraes has a bubbly personality and always has a smile on her face. The moment you meet her you automatically want to be friends with her. Guimaraes will be returning to Brazil sometime in June but is planning on coming back to visit many more times.

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