Press "Enter" to skip to content
Laura Austin Photo \ Left to right, Giorgia Falappa, Hiro Fujwara, and Sarah Sari-Poitrasson enjoyed their time in Ridgecrest.

Foreign Exchange Students share their BHS experiences

By LAURA QUEZADA News Review Staff Writer–
Three teenagers are nearing the end of their 10-month stay in Ridgecrest as part of their Foreign Exchange Student program. Sarah Sari-Poitrasson, Giorgia Falappa, and Hiro Fujiwara spoke with the News-Review about their experiences.

Sarah is a junior from France and really enjoyed all of the extracurricular activities offered at Burroughs High School (BHS). She enjoyed the Homecoming Dance, the prom, and watching BHS sports. Her favorite new foods are Crispy Creme Donuts and Crumble Cookies. Asked what was the important thing she learned, she replied, “I learned how to be more independent.”

Giorgia is also a Junior and is from Italy. She really enjoyed the school system. “The best thing was being on the track team.” Her event was hurdles. She also enjoyed playing on the soccer team with Sarah. She tells us, “I am starting to like Mexican food better. And the food that I hate is peanut butter. I cannot stand it.” As to what she learned, she says, “Other than how to speak English, I’d say, just being more independent. And, you know, being away from my family and making my way out of odd situations.”

Hiro Fujwara is a senior from Tokyo, Japan. Asked about his favorite experience, he responds, “It’s not exactly experience. But my favorite is people. Yeah. People are really nice. And then they are sometimes kind for no reason. For example, American people just say ‘Hi’ or ‘How are you doing?’ to strangers. In Japan, that won’t happen, you know. So, American people sometimes make me happy for no reason. That’s my favorite thing.” I noticed he was wearing an In and Out Burger t-shirt, and yes, it is one of his favorite foods. He also likes Mexican food, saying, “I hadn’t ever eaten Mexican food before I came here. When I tried tacos for the first time here, I was like, ‘Wow. Impressive.’” Of what he learned, he says, “I like making friends. Learning English, listening, and speaking English is not that hard. But making friends is really hard for me because we have different cultures and we have so many different things. It makes me sometimes confused and sometimes makes it hard to make and get friends. But I loved it.  I kind of learned how to make friends.”

What will they miss? Giorgia says, “I’m for sure going to miss my host family and just being part of a school team. Because we don’t have that in my country.” Sarah says, “ I’m going to miss my friends.  I’m going to miss events from school.” Giorgia adds that the school systems in France and Italy are similar in that there is nothing to do in school except study. Hiro says, “I’m going to miss In and Out, Mexican food, and any people who I am close to and the vibe of America.”