North hosts exchange student from Chile

Alonso Fuentes came to North in mid-October from Santiago, Chile, after he had found out he had family in American and wanted to spend a year getting to know them and going to school here.
Alonso didn’t arrive at the beginning of the school year like a regular exchange student does; everything he wanted had to be planned by him and his family so that his cousins would be ready for his arrival.
“I wanted to experience the life here. They (parents) said it was fine that I wanted to. It was coordinated I traveled by plane. Between calls we coordinated and now I’m here,” Fuentes said.
So far Alonso has just been getting used to the new changes and surroundings while also getting used to living with his cousins on his mother’s side.
“I can adapt easily, so it was pretty easy. I just needed to do my things, like laundry. Just help around the house and take care of my own things,” he said. “It’s a constant vacation for me in school. Everything here is relaxing. It’s cold all the time. I like the cold. I think it’s because I got hypothermia two times that I am used to the cold.”
He has enjoyed his time here so far, embracing his new surroundings and noticing everything that is different from back home in Chile.
“The school is really big. The classrooms are bigger; everything is just big. The food is pretty much the same, not as many fast food restaurants, but it’s pretty standard,” he said.
Alonso enjoys spending his time doing what he loves and having fun with all of his hobbies that he used to enjoy doing in Chile all the time.
“In Chile I like building stuff and video games and I like to read about random things, and I know a lot of strange facts. I like hunting; I am good at it. I work out. Before my sprain, I would work out at the gym here. I like singing. Someone forced me to go into choir in Chile,” he said.
Along with singing, Alonso can also play the guitar, which he picked up himself and will occasionally play. He is very specific with his music taste and what genre he enjoys listening to.
“Rock, soft rock, that’s it. Sometimes other music,” he said.
Back home, Alonso has an older brother, younger sister, three dogs and a cat and a lot of friends he decided to say goodbye to for a year. So far, he hasn’t made a lot of friends, but he hopes people will learn how to talk to him so that he can have more friends here.
“I don’t really talk; I just listen. My friends always tell me that I need to talk more with them. They (students) are nice, but they don’t know how to deal with me or talk to me. I don’t know. I am a human I am just like people here,” he said.
Apart from trying to fit in with everyone, Alonso is enjoying his time here, and when he starts to miss home, he remembers one thing.
“I just deal with it, not because I’m sad. My whole life in Chile will just move here,” he said.