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Brazilian student happy with life in Holyrood

Yasmin Paz, 15, of Brazil is calling Newfoundland home for the next several months. The international student says she is enjoying her time in Holyrood with host parents Lorraine Coffey and Kevin McDonald. Mark Squibb photo

By Mark Squibb

Yasmin Paz, 15, hails from Brazil, but has chosen to winter in Holyrood from January until June while she attends school at Roncalli Central High.
“I think here people are welcoming,” said Paz, who said she enjoys the province’s ambience —in particular, its many bodies of water, rivers, and bays.
Paz said she’s always wanted to study abroad, and when the opportunity arose, she took it.
She was nervous about boarding a plane for a foreign land thousands of miles from her friends and family. But she has discovered a home-away-from home.
“I love it here, I’m really enjoying it here,” said Paz.
She’s noticed plenty of differences between life in Canada and life back in Brazil, from the food – there’s more prepacked food here, to the architecture – houses in Brazil tend to be made of brick.
The weather, of course, is noticeably different. Brazil hit temperatures upwards of 33 degrees this week.
Since moving to Holyrood, Paz has experienced her first hockey game and her first snowfall, as well as a feed of Jiggs Dinner.
Schooling, said Paz, is also considerably different.
“Here, I have just seven subjects, but home, I have 14,” she said. “So, this is a big difference.”
Classes in Newfoundland, however, tend to be longer and more in depth, said Yasmin.
Paz encourages other students her age to consider studying abroad.
“I would tell them that everything will be fine, because I was really afraid at first, but the people here are so welcoming, and they always want to help you,” said Paz. “Just come, and everything will be fine.”
Before returning to Brazil in June, she hopes to swim in the ocean as well as go on a camping trip, once the weather warms up of course.
Lorraine Coffey and Kevin McDonald are Paz’s host parents and say she’s been a delight to have around the house.
“She’s really, really awesome,” said Coffey. “She’s always wanting to help out… It’s a great experience getting to know her culture and she’s getting to know ours. And the good part of about it is if we can’t understand each other’s language, we can have a laugh about it. We get a laugh out of trying to explain words.”
They have also met Yaz’s parents virtually and keep them updated as to how their daughter is doing and the many places she’s visited.
Coffey encouraged other families with the capability to do so to consider hosting a student.

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