Foreign exchange student assimilating well to area

Annemarijn Bruinsma kicked a soccer ball across the Clovis High School football field, along with fellow teammates during soccer practice Monday afternoon.

Alisa Boswell: Portales News-Tribune

Annemarijn Bruinsma, a foreign exchange student at Clovis High School, kicks a soccer ball across the high school football field as she practices Monday afternoon. Bruinsma has assimilated to U.S. culture very well, according to her American sponsor Stacey Manigold, Clovis high officials and her fellow peers on the soccer team.

After two months in the U.S., the foreign exchange student from the Netherlands is fitting right in with her schools peers, according to fellow students and coaches.

"Sometimes she gets really confused with our American slang," said fellow soccer teammate and friend Jenna Sievers, 17, as she laughed. "She's nice."

Sievers, and other CHS students, call Bruinsma Anna. By any name, Bruinsma has discovered the wonders of American fast food, having tried a quesadilla for the first time after brief hesitation.

"It was good," Bruinsma said. "It's a little bit like a burrito, only flat."

Bruinsma said her favorite so far was Peter Piper Pizza, which she ate at in Texas.

Sponsor Stacey Manigold said her student maintains a healthy diet most times, but that the U.S. has, "very different fast foods here than in the Netherlands, so Anna's hooked."

Bruinsma has lunch with Sievers and friend Victoria Chappelear, 15, every day at school.

"She's fun to be around," Chappelear said. "She gets so fascinated by everything. Sometimes she's shocked by things."

Bruinsma has mostly As in school with one B and her favorite class is Spanish.

"I'm always interested in languages," she said. "I was very scared when I first started and thought it would be too hard, but I have kept up with the other students well."

Many are drawn in by her accent, which leads to interest in her native country.

Sievers and Chappelear said that along with Bruinsma being sweet and fun, it is interesting to find out more about her country and the way things work there.

"I think she's assimilated well with the JV team," said soccer coach Pat O'Leary. "She's very supportive of her teammates and they are supportive of her. And she seems to be enjoying it, which is what really matters."

Bruinsma said along with trying new American foods, she has gone to Ruidoso and Artesia for soccer games, even making a stop in Roswell to see the alien tourist sites.

She said aliens are not a very popular venue in the Netherlands.

"It was really cool," she said of the alien sites. "I didn't know it was so much a big deal (in Roswell)."

Bruinsma said she is finding the culture is so interesting and fun that she is considering trying to attend college in the states.

"Maybe I want to do interior design," she said, "and that's just not a big deal over there (in the Netherlands)."

Speak Your Mind