Pictured are the two foreign exchange students at Kalida, left Kseniya Ivanova and right Rafaela Marone. (Putnam Sentinel / Leslie Noia)
KALIDA - The Roehrig family in Kalida is hosting not one, but two foreign exchange students at their home. Kseniya Ivanova is a junior at Kalida visiting from Russia and Rafaela Marone is a senior visiting from Brazil. The girls have come from two completely different climates, Ivanova being from Russia was used to the cold Ohio weather. However, Marone has never seen snow until she visited the United States."We usually have colder (temperatures) than the U.S.," Ivanova commented about the weather in Ohio compared to Russia. Ivanova has been visiting the Roehrig family since August, being in a different program than Marone.
Marone comes from a bigger city in Brazil and shared she does prefer the city life. "I do like the city better, but I thought it was gonna be too weird for me (in a small town), but I got used to it," she said about the change. Ivanova shared that she has lived in the country of Russia as well as the city, and she prefers the country.
"I used to be in the countryside, it is not much different for me, I have lived in the country and in the city. I get used to different things, I almost prefer the town," said Ivanova.
The girls have visited a few different places since they have been in the U.S. The Roehrig family took them to Michigan for a visit. Because the girls came a different times, they have experienced different places. Marone visited New York with the seniors at Kalida and Ivanova went to Chicago and Washington.
"I liked Chicago more than Washington," said Ivanova. She commented that one of her goals is to visit New York City sometime in the future if she gets a chance. She explained that she enjoys visiting the United States, but does not plan to live here.
Marone plans to attend college in the United States, while in Michigan they visited the University of Michigan so Marone could experience a college campus.
"That is why I am doing the exchange program, to attend college here. We visited the University of Michigan, that was awesome! That was my real first snow experience, the place was amazing and I would love to study there but when we were outside it was snowing really bad. I have also thought about studying in Chicago and Boston," said Marone.
Also in Michigan the girls attended a football game, where they got to go down on the field. The girls also got their picture taken with some of the football players. "They got to experience something a lot of people here never get to," said Diana Roehrig.
Ivanova has spent a lot of her time in Kalida participating in as many American experiences as she can. "I'm trying to participate in every event the school has," said Ivanova, she was on the volleyball team and she is also on the softball team. The girls are also in the spring musical at Kalida.
"I'm trying to value everyday here because it is different than what I did before and that is why I am trying to be as busy as I can," said Ivanova.