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home : education : schools November 24, 2015

4/22/2014 2:16:00 PM
Exchange student enjoys Sisters
Nadia Rodriguez, with Genevieve McKenzie, is enjoying exploring a different culture here in Sisters Country. photo by Jim Cornelius
+ click to enlarge
Nadia Rodriguez, with Genevieve McKenzie, is enjoying exploring a different culture here in Sisters Country. photo by Jim Cornelius

By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

Nadia Rodriguez originally wanted to come to the U.S. to study and improve her English language skills. And the Puebla, Mexico, native has done that. But once here, she discovered that the best part of being an exchange student at Sisters High School is her immersion in a culture different from her own.

"I realized it was a new way to see culture," she said.

Nadia is staying with the McKenzie family - Rod and Genevieve and their son Issac. For Nadia, it's a new experience, since "I never had a brother at home."

Things folks in Sisters take for granted, like the ability to simply ride a bike around the community, are new adventures for Nadia. That's wonderful for her host family, too, as it helps them see their everyday world with fresh eyes.

"It's amazing," said Genevieve. "Everything being new to her made it new to me. Everything was new to her. Everything was beautiful. She's helped the whole family that way, not just me. Everything is a big 'Wow!'"

Rodriguez has found her experience at Sisters High School enlightening. She appreciates that students have many opportunities to explore interests.

"There's a lot of freedom, and I like that," she said. "It's really cool to have the relationship between the students and the teachers. There's still respect between them, but you can be close."

Nadia knows the experience of living in Sisters has changed her perspective on the world. She knows now that "not everything is as we think it is."

She will take home a broader sense of the world.

"I'm going to live knowing that there is something else than my world," she said. "I'll be more open-minded."

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