A smile spreads across exchange student Colomba Roncone Bischitz’s face as she reminisces about her life before she moved here and how much she likes it here now.
Bischitz explained how thrilled and grateful she is to be at PHS. She is part of a program called American Field Service Intercultural Program (AFS) that allows her to attend school here for one year.
Bischitz is originally from Santiago, Chile.
“Everything is so different, but I love going here and getting the American experience,” she said.
She explains that she is participating in senior assassins, has joined the field hockey team, and continues to be involved in the PHS community.
Spanish teacher Kelly Hofmaister, her host mother, has already had six previous exchange students in her home, and expresses her love for the program, and for Bischitz.
“She fits in so well with my family. It’s like I’ve known her for a really long time,” Hofmaister said.
Bischitz spends time with Hofmaister’s dogs, her daughters, and her husband. Bischitz notes multiple times how accepted and loved she feels in her host family.
Bischitz moved here shortly before the school year started, but she has already become involved in many ways.
Bischitz notes how shocked she was when her class did the pledge of allegiance, since they did not do that in Santiago, as well as how excited she was when the mailman came, since they did not have mail carriers where she came from.
When asked what the biggest difference is between here and Chile, she says how much fast food we have here. She explains that in her hometown, everyone always eats healthy. However, when she arrived here she was shocked with how normal McDonalds and In-N-Out was.
While she does miss her family back home, she frequently calls them to keep in touch. She also strives to keep up with her old friends, so that they don’t lose touch. She said she is excited for all of the experiences to come, all of her firsts, and also how hard it will be for her to leave.