Maria decided to spend a semester somewhere completely different from her home country of Brazil. She chose Falmouth High School in Maine because she “wanted to go to a cold place, and when I saw Falmouth High School, when I saw the pictures I was enchanted and I knew that coming here would be a good idea.”
While attending the U.S. News and World Report Gold Medal school, Maria discovered "the way they teach [in America] and the way the school system works in general, it surprised me a lot living here and seeing the way they live, the picture I had from America before coming here totally changed now and it is definitely better.”
Maria lives with a host family in the town of Falmouth, which is only a short distance from CIEE’s headquarters in the vibrant city of Portland. In addition to her academics at Falmouth High School, Maria joined the volleyball and basketball teams and made great friends through those activities.
Maria says that picking a favorite moment of her semester in the U.S. is difficult “because everything that I have been doing is awesome, from going to local markets and knowing a little more of the American culture” and that studying here has been “realizing a dream.”
Maria’s semester in the United States ends soon, and looking back on her time here she says “before coming here I was really afraid of what could happen and it turned out to be the best experience of my life, something that I will never forget and will help me a lot in my future as a person, so my advice for people how think about doing an exchange program is just go. CIEE has a great program when they make sure you have the best experience of your life.”