Exchange student shares thoughts on Roseville
Students at Oakmont High School have taken a liking to foreign exchange student Bruno Bolio, honoring him with a Big Man on Campus nomination - he ended up winning Mr. Congeniality.
Bolio, 19, has been making the most of his time attending school in Roseville. He's tried out cheerleading on the school's Powder Puff team and learned how to bake an apple pie in his culinary class. He spends weekends hanging out with his host family, the Thralls.
The experience has been life-altering and more than anything, he's learned to take care of himself, he said.
Where are you from?
I'm Mexican. I'm from Cancun. I've been a couple of times (before this) to the East Coast. I went to Disney World.
How do you like living in the U.S.?
At first it was hard being away from my family, my friends, my dog Benito, my car. I've been making so many friends here, too many friends. I'm doing so (many) activities, like I played soccer for school. We made the playoffs. I'm playing tennis. So, yeah, I'm enjoying this experience. It's changing everything.
What do you think of Roseville?
It's a very nice city. Everyone is so nice here, I love it. Everything is closer. (At Oakmont), my favorite teacher is Mr. Welch. He teaches military history. He is the best.
How does it compare to your hometown?
It's smaller. Well, the weather is different. For me, it's ice cold.
When do you go back to Mexico?
Beginning of June, maybe. I'm sad to go home. I'm excited to (go) back but at the same time I have so many friends here, so many things here, I've learned so much. This is my home now. But I have plans to come back once a year.
Did you speak English before coming here?
Yes, I studied since kindergarten until high school. At the beginning, I was kind of shy so I never spoke, I was always listening. I can understand almost everything. Just speaking I have to take my time sometimes. Now I'm more natural, so now I can speak very well. I still have my accent and I'm proud of my accent so it's good.
Have you done much traveling around the area?
I went to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, to L.A., to Redlands, Reno. Tahoe's amazing, but I think San Francisco (was my favorite).
Do you play soccer back home?
I play semi-pro in Mexico. I played tennis before with my dad. I'm No. 6 on the team, so I'm very proud of it and I'm getting better.
What other kinds of things do you do on the weekends here?
Well, I like to play (indoor) soccer on Sundays in Rocklin. I play with my friends or hang out somewhere. I watch movies. I'm trying to go to a (good) Mexican place, but I haven't found it yet. I like Paul Martin's and In-N-Out. The Mexican food tastes different, not like at home.
Tell me about your host family.
I love them, they support me in everything. My brother, John Thrall, always takes care of me and everyone's been nice in my house.
What do you think of American culture?
It's different. In Mexico, we are a more familial culture. We're used to hugging and being more friendly. Everyone's nice here and works really hard and everyone does the right thing and that's how it's supposed to be and that I like.
Sena Christian can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.
Host families needed
Want to bring the world to your doorstep? Here are a few local opportunities to host an exchange student:
Academic Year in the USA
Host families offer foreign exchange students the opportunity to study in an American high school for five to 10 months. Students are between the ages of 15 and 18 at the start of the program. Host families provide a bedroom, three meals a day and transportation. Contact Dana Childs at (530) 306-2379. Visit www.ayusa.org.
Local families needed to host students ages 13 to 18 from Russia, Italy, Denmark and Spain from July 5 to July 31. Students attend English language classes and participate in field trips under supervision of program staff from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Host families provide a bed, meals and transportation. Contact Lisa Stubenrauch at (732) 575-6611 or email@example.com. Visit www.efhomestay.org.
Rotary Youth Exchange
The Rotary Club of Roseville offers a student exchange program for high school students with Rotary Clubs around the world. Host families needed to provide lodging, food and transportation to school. The exchange student attends high school. Contact Megan Boespflug at (425) 330-5266 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.rotaryrsvl.org.