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Meet foreign exchange student Barbara Guirao

Tammy Channell

Junior Barbara Guirao is a foreign exchange student from Spain. She is staying with the Jerry and Melissa Brown family.  Guirao had three aunts who were foreign exchange students at Beloit. 

She enjoys drawing, painting, reading, listening to music, food and watching movies. Guirao adds, “I like to have opinions.”

While at Beloit, she played volleyball, is cheering, and might go out for softball or track. She enjoyed Fall Homecoming, participating in volleyball, going to football games occasionally, and going to the lake. 

Many things we have or do here are very different than in Spain. For example, in the US, we drive everywhere, while in Spain, they usually walk to things more often. Guirao says that, here, we eat a lot more fast food, breakfast pizza and canned food than in Spain, and our chain fast food restaurants are not the same. In Spain, they have a vastly different eating schedule than we do here. They typically eat breakfast around 7:30 am, followed by a snack at 11 am and lunch between 2-3 pm, with dinner at 9-10 pm. 

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Many things in our school systems differ, too. In Spain, teachers move to classes with groups of students rather than the students themselves moving to their classes. Guirao also said that they have very similar textbooks and Chromebooks in Spain, and classes are shorter here.

“We don’t have that much time to do our homework in school. We have to study a lot…” She added, “Here, you’re allowed to burp.”

Some things Guirao struggled with following her move to the US were: adjusting to the time and eating schedule, the different food, and the language.

“Sometimes I forget that I’m here and I try to talk in Spanish, but they talk in English. Sometimes I say words in Spanish.”

She says that the flight to the US caused a lot of jetlag, and she arrived here the day before school started, so she had to take the first day off to catch up to the time change. 


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