A Foreign Exchange Into the Sports


Crystal Martinez

Sophomore Marta Canals-Solar in her Emerald Dazzlers uniform

With the third quarter coming to an end, that means the end of a year in America for foreign exchange students is approaching. Over this year, many have joined sports teams, clubs and more school-spirited activities.

With sports being a huge part of American schools, foreign exchange students have many options, Including, football, soccer, basketball, tennis, cheerleading, dazzlers and more.

Some of the foreign exchange students explained how the sports affected their exchange year. First, sophomore Ari Sailaubay discusses sports in her home country, Kazakhstan.

“I didn’t do any sports for the past 5 years, because I went to only physics and math school, and we didn’t have time for sports,” she said.

Junior Johannes Heid and Coach Jason Vines at the teach appreciation ceremony for soccer (Ramon Quevedo)

Sophomore Marta Canals-Solar, an exchange student from Spain, joined the Emerald Dazzlers this year. She explains how being on the team has affected her high school experience this year.

“It has helped me to make a lot of new friends and meet a lot of new people,” Marta said. “And also to like take my mind off things. Sometimes you feel a little homesick and then you just go with your friends and go to practice and it helps get your mind off things.”

When it comes to the team aspect of sports, it’s one of the greatest friendships students can make. Students are guaranteed a family. Many exchange students struggle with feeling homesick, but junior Johannes Heid, from Germany, explained how that family feeling helps battle that homesick feeling.

“I found friends in soccer, and with the team and team dinners, it helps me a lot,” Johannes said.

One of the biggest challenges for foreign exchange students is the physical aspect of sports. Some countries don’t have school sports, so transferring into a school where it’s mandatory can be challenging.

Sophomore Julia Busque went into detail about how it has physically affected her. Saying that because of cheer she has stayed in shape.

“I was healthy in Spain, but not like I am here. Now I am working out all the team, and feel athletically healthier.”

Many exchange students are affected by their sports in many ways, making long-term friendships, physical and mental changes and a new love for a sport.

Sophmore Julia Busque in a shoulder stand with Freshman Kayley Brekel at a football game (Stephanie Sweeden)