Students from Paraguay make Lawrence their (temporary) home

A group of students from Paraguay has spent the last three weeks taking in the sites, sounds and language of the United States.

This is the first time exchange students from the South American country have been to Free State High School and they like what they see.

“(Free State) is very different from ours, especially the classes,” said Nieves Brunet, 16. “We cannot choose our classes.”

Zunilda Walther teaches English at a language school in Encarnacion and traveled with her students. She has been to America before, but this was her first trip to Kansas.

“People are so nice, so warm,” she said.

The temperatures in Paraguay this time of year are usually in the 90s, so the Midwestern weather was a change.

“When I was coming here, I thought it was going to be all white because of snow,” said Fernando Komjati, 18. “When we arrived here, there was no snow, but really cold.”

The exchange students did note some big differences between the countries.

“People are not really nice in Paraguay when you don’t know them,” said Guido Marginez, 16. “Here, if you don’t know a person, he or she will be nice anyway.”

Brunet noted that a middle class exists in America, but not in her home country. “There are too many rich people and poor people,” she said.

Komjati thinks people in the United States take pride in their country. “The Paraguayans are not so proud of being Paraguayans,” he said. “That is one of the bigger things, but I am proud of being Paraguayan.”

The students will play host to 10 Free State High students later this year.

“We’ll try to do our best in order to return all the nice things we got over here,” said Walther.

This story incorrectly states that exchange students from Paraguay have never before come to Lawrence.

 Students from South America are in Lawrence to take in the sights, sounds–VIEW A VIDEO OF THE STUDENTS AND THEIR SPONSOR:

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