2020 Foreign Students

Meet Shawnee Heights newest students from all over the world.

Abbey Manzanares, Copy Editor

Four foreign exchange students are attending Shawnee Heights despite the fear and chaos surrounding COVID-19.

They are split up into two families. Simone Paparo, from Italy, and Laurence Nachtigaeller, from Germany, are staying in the Forsberg household. Giovanni D’agata, from Italy, and Paul Quidu, from France, are in the Cox household.

“At that time (COVID-19) was a concern for all countries including ours so anyone could have it,” Chelsea Cox, host mom, said. “Students also were doing covid testing prior to coming so that helped.”

None of the boys were scared, and have gotten themselves involved with sports.

“I play soccer here and I’ve never played soccer before,” D’agata said. 

Paparo started playing football and guitar while Nachtigaeller has gotten himself involved in the marching band.

“I’m in the marching band playing the clarinet,” Nachtigaeller said. “The clarinets in Hamburg are different than the ones here.” 

Schools in the United States also have different procedures than their hometowns. In Germany and Italy, they are having the students stay in one class as the teacher moves.

“My old school has to wear a mask in the hallways but not in the classroom,” Paparo said. “You don’t switch classes so it’s easier when someone gets sick to only put the kids around in quarantine.” 

They are still adjusting to what they are used to in their hometown and that includes the weather.

“The temperature is very different compared to France or Europe,” Paul Quidi said. “One day was 50 degrees but the day before was 93 degrees so that was really strange.”

The host families try to involve them in everything they do including school games, amusement parks, and community activities.

“Both of them, Simone and Laurence, are even going to Florida with us in December,” Connor Forsberg, host brother, said. “We include them in all of the things we do.”

Both of the host families are close which means that the four boys spend lots of quality time together.