La Plata has recently accepted a new Foreign Exchange student, Julia Coelho Pinheiro Martins. Julia is from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. She was able to give La Plata a little insight about Brazil and herself. Julia noted that in general Brazil and U.S.A are very different with the biggest difference in the schools. In Brazil, her classes started at 7:15AM and ended around 12:50PM for lunch. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, she and her classmates would go back to school at 2PM and stay until 6PM. When she first learned that she wouldn’t have to return to school are leaving, she became very excited. Another thing different between Brazil and the United States was that in Brazil, she had to take 16 different classes throughout the year. In addition to the standard classes such as math, science, reading, and social studies, she also had to learn Spanish and English. Speaking about the difference between the languages, Julia said that for her Portuguese is the easiest because it’s her native language; meanwhile, Spanish is the hardest to write, and English is the hardest to speak. Although Brazil has their students take 16 classes throughout the year, Brazil does not offer electives such as art and music. With electives at La Plata High School, she now has a chance to show her creativity and other talents throughout the school day. Also at La Plata, Julia is given an opportunity to learn different things and, upon returning to Brazil, she will be given a test about what she learned. She can then use the results to start applying for college, which comes sooner for Julia in Brazil than it does for American students. In Brazil, high school is only three years, with 9th grade treated as junior high.
Julia said that she wanted to become a Foreign exchange student because she thought that it would be a great experience to learn a new country and language. Julia, a very friendly person, also wanted the chance to meet new people and to improve upon herself in a new environment. Julia’s previous trips in America, which influenced her to want to come and spend a year here, involved going to Disneyland and visiting family.
There is a lot more to Julia than simply coming from Brazil. Julia likes volleyball and used to play it before she hurt her knee. Her favorite sport is soccer, with her favorite team as Atlético Mineiro, which she has seen play. She also has a jersey for them. Able to see new things around the area, she enjoys going hiking with her host family. She enjoys shopping either online or at the mall. She is fun to have conversations with because of how funny she is. Finally, she loves making new friends and hanging out with them. Overall, Julia is more than just a foreign exchange student: she is funny, outgoing, friendly, adventurous.