Foreign Exchange Student Chirrime Seeks New Experiences

Mariana Chirrime, a foreign exchange student from Mozambique, Africa, is ready to find her place at YHS and in the United States.

Ashley Encabo, Staff Writer

Mariana Chirrime, a foreign exchange student from Mozambique, wanted to do something completely different for her last year of high school. Deciding it was a good opportunity, she took a leap of faith and became a senior at YHS.

Although the year would be filled with adapting and learning, she is incredibly excited for the school year to unfold, hoping to share the most from her country and to have an incredible year. Undeterred by the lengthy and daunting journey, Chirrime can’t wait to achieve her many goals and aspirations during her time here.

“I want people to see there’s more to the world than what tv and the internet show,” Chirrime said.

Chirrime expressed her desire to show the world, or at the very least this school, that Mozambique (and Africa) is more than the undesserted wasteland that the media portrays.

Maputo, the capital of her country, is a breathtaking city and not the barren dessert that most would predict. Maputo is a busy city with history, culture, and food different from the life here that Chirrime wants everyone to see.

“There’s a lot of difference. The school, the meals, the houses, the people. Most of the things are really different but good different,” Chirrime said.

In this town that Chirrime is unaccustomed to, she learned to embrace the differences. Though she is missing aspects of her daily life back home–like her family, food, and friends– Chirrime persists with open arms and an open mind. For instance, she’s already experienced her first Starbucks and her first football game and is excited for what else her trip has in store. One of her bigger hopes is to go to Disneyland. Similar to the culture here, Chirrime is adapting to our unusual, foreign education system.

“The education is really different. In Mozambique we don’t change classes, we don’t have clubs at the school, the teachers come to the classes. I’m in art club and student council, and I’m hoping to join the soccer team,” Chirrime said. Though she is wading through waters she is unaccustomed to, Chirrime hopes to share the most from her country, make new friends, and have an incredible year.