Having a great host family was the most important criteria for Lorena Bartolan, a sophomore exchange student at Virgin Valley High School (VVHS). Lorena, who is a native of Switzerland is enjoying her year in Mesquite, but admits “The heat was killing me the first couple of weeks.”
But there are other differences than just the heat. “School is way easier here and in Switzerland we go home for lunch as the school day is longer,” said Bartolan. Another change is that students don’t pick their classes, the curriculum is chosen by the school.
Switzerland is far different from the United State in many other ways: the country has four official languages and only 8 million residents. While none of the official languages are English, Bartolan has excellent language skills as English is taught beginning in grade school. Her native language in Switzerland is Swiss-German, which is the predominate language in the country.
Switzerland is also justly famous for not having been at war since 1815, and as a neutral country, home to many famous institutions such as the International Red Cross. The country is also wealthy having the highest national wealth per person of any country in the world.
While at VVHS Bartolan plans to be on the drill team and get to know the area better. When she returns home, she plans on attending college and becoming a teacher.