South Welcomes Students from Across the Globe
Each year South hosts a number of foreign exchange students through programs such as the Rotary Youth Exchange and the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) program. This year, students from Japan, Spain, Germany, and Finland among other countries are enrolled at South and will complete the school year in June.
One exchange student, Andrea Barbaro ‘19, is from a small town in the south of Italy, two hours from Naples. In order to come on the exchange, Barbaro had to go to Naples and speak with the principle there.
“I am here to learn the language,” Barbaro said, “because English is very important and in Italy we don’t study enough for everything.”
Andrea Barbaro ‘19 of Italy
Siraphat “Toei” Teerawattananon ‘19 of Thailand is attending South through the YES program.
The YES program grants students from 37 qualifying countries to study a year in the United States. The program was created by Congress following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and to qualify a country must have a notable Muslim population. The intent of YES is to encourage the sharing of values and knowledge between the countries and the United States.
“My favorite class is art class and my favorite club to do is art club,” Teerawattananon said. “I think it is very relaxing to make something for art.”
Siraphat “Toei” Teerawattananon ‘19 of Thailand
The exchange process can be difficult for some exchange students because of the requirements to acquire a passport and visa, or to be accepted into an exchange program. To be selected for the Rotary Exchange program, which sponsors students 15-19 years old from more than 100 different countries, Kilian Scheyer ‘19 of Vienna, Austria had to attend many meetings and interviews.
“My tutor in Latin, he went on exchange and I said ‘Yeah, cool, I want to do that too,” Scheyer said. Scheyer speaks German and English as well as some French and Latin.
Kilian Scheyer ‘19 of Vienna, Austria
For other foreign exchange students, getting to Salem was easier.
“It was really easy for me to get here. I don’t know why,” Arthur da Silva Tascili ‘19 of Brazil said. “I love this school because it’s really different than Brazil and it’s a new experience.”
Arthur da Silva Tascili ‘19 of Brazil
da Silva Tascili and South’s other foreign exchange students will stay with host families through the rest of the school year, and walk at graduation in June of 2019