Exchange students acclimate to WHS

November 8, 2017

WHS welcomes two new senior exchange students this school year. Both from opposite sides of the world, the two are united by being immersed in the culture of America.

Guilherme Pereira is from the south of Brazil, the state of Rio Grande do Sul and the city of Porto Alegre, while Pierre DiBlasi is from Northeast France, the town of Hagondange. While  DiBlasi has been to America once before for a family vacation, this journey marks Pereira’s first time in the States. Pereira joined the WHS community through his local high school’s partnership program.

“I was learning English [at my school in Brazil] and realized that being an exchange student in the USA would be a great opportunity to improve my English skills,” Pereira said.

According to Pereira, the exchange program is very competitive at his school.

“At my school in Brazil, we have a long process for selecting the person who comes to Weston High School. The exchange student must have good grades and show that he or she is prepared to handle this challenge,” Pereira said.

DiBlasi and Pereira have different motivations to study in America. DiBlasi dreams of one day becoming a lawyer and knows the importance of bilingualism in the workforce.

“My motives are to [understand] a different culture, to discover the United States of America and to learn English because it’s very important for studies,” DiBlasi said. “Additionally, I came to America because I would like to study at the University of Luxembourg and I have to speak English very well because all classes are in English, and to become a lawyer we have to speak English.”

Living in Weston, Pereira has found that he is learning new information about the American culture and language everyday, while DiBlasi is still adapting to American culture and understands that this will be a lengthy process.

“I’m adjusting well but slowly because I don’t know the language, [or] the area. [Because] I’m alone [without any direct family members], it is a little bit difficult for the moment but it will come slowly. It takes time,” Di Blasi said.

Back in their hometowns, DiBlasi and Pereira are both seniors who plan on graduating  in the spring of 2018. “I did a semester in Brazil and then came here to finish my second semester to conclude my senior year,” Pereira said.

Pereira is still deciding between studying at home or in the States.

“I would like to go to an American university because I think it would be a good opportunity to learn even more and live a different lifestyle,” Pereira said. Nonetheless, enrolling at a Brazilian university is still a possibility for Pereira.

DiBlasi and Pereira are beginning to make their mark on WHS and are excited to share their journey with the entire school community. They look forward to meeting more people and strengthening their connections with the student body.

“If you see them around school, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to them and say hello! Both are phenomenal people and I have had a blast getting to know them this year,” senior Danielle Pasquale said.

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