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Brazilian exchange student surprised by many things

Raphael Costa is shown with his host family, the Califf family. From left are: Costa, host brother Jackson, host mom Jennifer and host dad William. Submitted photos. 1 / 2
Brazilian Exchange student Raphael Costa is shown with his host brothers Jackson and Marcus Califf. From left are, Costa, Jackson, and Marcus. Submitted photo.2 / 2

The River Falls Journal asked each of the River Falls High School foreign exchange students to share a bit about their experiences thus far in River Falls.

Name: Raphael Castro Jardelino da Costa

School you're attending this year: River Falls High School

Age: 16

Grade: 12

Name of your family back home: Costa

Name of your host family: Califf

Home city and country: Recife, PE, Brazil

How long are you staying in the U.S.? Until July 2

What do you want to do after graduation? Military career or play soccer

How did you decide to go on an exchange trip? My family are members of the Rotary and my sister did an exchange in Taiwan. I like so much the experience that she got.

Why did you decide to come to the USA? I wanted to improve my English that is not so good.

What surprised you when you arrived here? The weather, how much the people are respectful and the schedule of my HS.

What do you think of your host city? It's a pretty city

What is your host family like? They are one wonderful family.

What do you like to do with your host family? Talk, hang out to know more places and having fun with games.

What tourist sights and events have you visited so far in the U.S.? State Fair, marching band competition, county fair, History Museum of St.Paul. I knew the Kinni River and I walk around Madison.

What are you most looking forward to on your trip? Know more and more people

What do you think of your host school? I like my school so much (the schedule is really different).

What are some of the biggest differences you noticed between your home school and American schools? The schedule

What are some of the biggest similarities you noticed between your home school and American schools? Nothing

What is your favorite memory from your trip so far? The homecoming.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far on your trip? My first soccer practice

What are some things you have learned about the U.S. and American culture? The history, food and different times to eat.

What did you learn about yourself through this trip? Take care of myself (in the airport).

Would you like to travel abroad again? Yesss.

What advice would you give anyone who's thinking about doing an exchange trip? Try to make as many friends that you can.

How do you think going on this trip has changed your perspective? There are a lot of people that is not fat here; all my parents said that here just have fat people or almost to get fat.

What will you do after you return home? I don't know.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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