For Noemi Alacevich, being an exchange student has been a long time wish.
“I always wanted to be an exchange student since I was 10 years old,” Alacevich said. “I think this big experience will change my life and my English will improve a lot. I will meet great people.”
Alacevich, from Milan, Italy, is one of three exchange students, all juniors, attending Zionsville Community High School through the Council on International Educational Exchange program. The group, which visited New York before arriving in Indiana, had a welcome party for the students Aug. 21 in Westfield. The other ZCHS students are Henry Teuteberg (Germany) and Giovanna Barros (Brazil).
Alacevich said there is a completely different culture in the U.S. schools.
Alacevich said one of the major differences is, in the U.S., the students go to different classrooms. In Italy, different teachers come in and the students remain with the same classmates all year.
“In Italy, you choose your high school, and they tell you the classes,” Alacevich said. “I like the fact you can choose your classes so you can do what you really like.”
Alacevich is taking forensics, photography and journalism. They are options she wouldn’t have in Italy. She is competing on the girls cross country team.
“I played volleyball in Italy for nine years, but I wanted to try something new,” Alacevich said of running.
Alacevich is staying with Jennifer Horn and her husband Al Herms. Horn said they have hosted approximately 26 exchange students through the years.
Teuteberg is from a small town near Frankfurt, Germany.
“I like everything (in the U.S.), and I like that everything is different from Germany,” he said.
Teuteberg finds playing soccer for the Eagles is a change from playing the sport in Germany.
“In Germany, I had practice like twice a week, and now it’s five times a week,” he said. “It’s hard but I’m getting used to it.”
Teuteberg is taking physical conditioning/weightlifting and psychology classes.
“We don’t have such subjects in Germany,” he said.
Teuteberg said the first three days of classes were tough because he had to search for his classrooms.
For Barros, the most enjoyable part is meeting new people.
“It’s been good to try out new stuff outside of my comfort zone,” Barros said.
Barros is playing for the Eagles girls soccer team.
“In Brazil, I used to play with boys because there aren’t many girls teams,” Barros said. “It’s very nice to play with girls. Maybe I’ll do something in the other seasons or join a club.”
Like the other exchange students, Barros said it’s nice to be able to choose her own subjects.
“I’m taking economics and marketing, which I like,” she said.
Barros said she always wanted the experience of living in the U.S.
“I always enjoy coming to visit, so living for 10 months was something I kind of planned for a while,” she said.