By Jennifer Von Ohlen
DASSEL, COKATO, MN Enrico Rossi, 17, of Sao Paulo, Brazil arrived in the US Aug. 21 to begin his study abroad experience at Dassel-Cokato High School this year.
Rossi is residing with Mick and Grace Yanke of Cokato and their son Jackson, 10.
“Our son tremendously enjoys having a foreign exchange student ‘sibling,’” said Mick Yanke. “It is fun for us to have someone else in our family to look after, [and] learn more about the world.”
This is the third foreign exchange student the Yanke family has hosted. The others attended DC during the 2006-2007, and 2009-2010 school years.
Some of the challenges the Yankes have experienced while hosting foreign exchange students are helping the student cope with culture shock, encouraging him/her to get involved, and hoping the student will find a way to fit into the DC culture.
For Rossi, one of the main cultural differences is how Americans get around.
“The lack of public transportation is a little weird,” he explained. “In Brazil, either we walk to places or take the bus to go to other cities.”
Supper time is another contrast between America and Brazil, as well as its common beverage-of-choice.
In Brazil, Rossi typically has supper around 9 or 10 p.m., and usually drinks soda, water, or juice.
He said Americans, however, usually have milk with their meals and tend to eat “a lot of frozen food.”
When it comes to school, Rossi said his own school, “14 de Agosto” (named after the date it was founded) does not offer as many sports activities as DC does, and is actually more difficult academically than DC.
The ability for students to select their own classes is another contrast between the two schools, as well as the time of year the school year occurs.
At 14 de Agosto, school starts in February and runs until the end of November with a break in July.
Earlier this fall, Enrico participated on the Charger football team, which was one of the primary reasons he wanted to study abroad in America.
He was also hoping to play tennis, but was disappointed to learn DC does not have a tennis program.
Instead, Rossi is considering joining the boys’ swim team as a winter activity.
In addition to sports, Rossi hopes to travel to other states in America, some of which he already visited during past trips to the US. Those places include Philadelphia, PA; Washington, DC; New York City; and Disney World.
Some activities his host family has planned include attending the Minnesota high school state football championships, going sledding, and possibly ice fishing.
When thinking about home, Rossi said he misses his friends, the parties, the food, and Brazilians in general.
Spending time with his new friends in DC is “always fun,” however, and Rossi said good memories have already been made.