Foreign exchange student joins the junior class

Landry Jansen, Writer

The junior class welcomes a foreign exchange student Pauline Lambertucci from Brazil. 

Normally, foreign exchange students partake in a study abroad program, but the pandemic made that unavailable. 

“Since every program was canceled due COVID, instead of coming here with a study abroad program, I came by myself” Lambertucci said. 

The borders from the United States to Brazil are closed due COVID; however, Lambertucci was able to come because of where she was born. Born in San Francisco, Lambertucci has dual nationality; this allowed her to come here with almost no complications. 

“My aunt was an exchange student when she was my age here in Oklahoma City,” Lambertucci said, “Now, I’m staying with the same family that she stayed with 20 years ago. The Burgers, the family, gave me this amazing opportunity to come and study here, and I will always be very grateful for them.”

Once she arrived, she experienced many changes and culture shocks, one of these being the length of the school day. 

“The school in Brazil starts at 7:30 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m., so I have breakfast in school instead of lunch,” Lambertucci said. 

The plethora of options for classes, sports and activities was another shock. 

“We also don’t have that much options of classes and activities, and we can’t choose our classes,” Lambertucci said. “We don’t have clubs, or dance, or leadership, psychology, etc. I only had four options of sports: volleyball, soccer, basketball and handball. So the schools here offer a lot more options for the students to develop their interests on something. However, in Brazil, we learn more knowledge of the world, and we have a base of everything.”

Lamertucci also mentioned the difference in food here and how that was an unexpected change.

“I believe that the biggest culture shock is the food and the habits,” Lambertucci said. “I really like the food here and is pretty much the same as in Brazil, but sometimes I miss eating healthier, and I miss the homemade food in my country.”    

Besides the many differences, Bishop McGuinness and Lambertucci’s school back in Brazil do have one thing in common. 

“My school in Brazil is also a Catholic school, and we had a religious class, very similar to the classes here,” Lambertucci said. 

Lambertucci is excited that she has the opportunity to be here and experience Bishop McGuinness. 

“I’m excited to learn, to grow, to live at the fullest, to meet new people and new places,” Lambertucci said. “I know I’m still in the middle of my experience, but I believe that I’m growing so much as a person because of all of this.”

Lambertucci is grateful for how welcoming the community has been to her while she tries to adjust to being in such a new place. 

“I want to thank first my family and my host family for providing me all this amazing experience,” Lambertucci said. “I also would like to thank everyone at McGuinness that has been nice to me, welcomed me so well, and are helping me in this process, including faculty and students. You’re making my experience the best. I’ll be forever grateful. Thank you.”