• 63°

Graduation: Beatrice Bento – Year in America was a good one

By Sara Gregory
Salisbury Post
Beatrice Bento’s yearbook is full of good wishes from friends.
And their addresses.
After Bento graduates from West Rowan High School this week, the foreign exchange student will have to keep up with her new friends from a distance.
“I wish some people I met here can come visit me in Brazil,” Bento says, adding that she will miss the friends she’s made when she returns home.
And there will be many friends to keep up with: Lydia Bouk, Bento’s teacher and host mother, says the outgoing 18-year-old from Fortaleza, Brazil, jumped right in.
“She’s open to all of it,” Bouk said. “She hasn’t just sat in the corner.”
Since arriving in August, Bento has lived the typical American high school life.”Sometimes I feel like I’m in a movie ó the football games, the halls with lockers,” she says.
At West Rowan, Bento played tennis, ran track and cross country and joined the swim team. She hangs out with friends, scrapbooks and helps Bouk around the house.
“I try to do a lot of stuff,” Bento says. “I try to do something every day.”
And in the process she’s learned a new language. When she started the year, the native Portuguese speaker says she couldn’t say anything more than “hi,” “bye” or “help” in English.
Her biggest fear was that she wouldn’t learn the language and would waste the investment her parents put into her study abroad.
“(English) is not hard,” Bento says. “If you want to learn it, you will.”
Her year here hasn’t been without some glitches. Bouk is her third host, meaning Bento’s had to move around.
The first family she stayed with had another exchange student as well, and then she went to stay with relatives of the first family.
But their home in Mooresville made it difficult to get Bento to school. After the end of her first semester, Bento either had to change schools or change families.
Bouk, who didn’t know Bento well but had extra room in her Cleveland home, agreed to host her.
“She’s great. She’s just blended into the family really well,” Bouk says. “It’s been sort of natural.”
Bento, the third of four siblings, keeps in touch with her family in Brazil. Her older brother and sister also studied abroad in high school, and she wants her younger sister to do so as well.”I learned a lot,” Bento said. “You grow inside when you do something like this.”

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Man killed by deputy recalled as storyteller, jokester

News

Rowan’s Sen. Ford backs ‘Election Integrity Act’ to move up absentee ballot deadlines

Business

Salisbury earns ranking on national list of best small cities to start a business

Crime

Supreme Court makes it easier to give minors convicted of murder a life sentence

Local

Quotes of the week

Local

Salisbury Human Relations Council offering online Racial Wealth Gap Simulation

News

Bill seeking permanent daylight saving clears NC House

News

Friends describe Elizabeth City man killed by deputy

Business

With second hobbit house now complete, Cherry Treesort looks toward future expansion

College

Catawba Sports: 2021 Hall of Fame class announced

Crime

Supreme Court makes it easier to sentence minors convicted of murder to life in prison

Local

Overton dedicates tree to longtime volunteer Leon Zimmerman

Coronavirus

First dose COVID-19 vaccinations up to 24% in Rowan County

Crime

Blotter: April 22

Crime

Lawsuit: Salisbury Police, Rowan Sheriff’s Office tore woman’s shoulder during traffic stop

Business

‘Believe me, they’ll be fresh’: Patterson Farm welcomes strawberry crop

Local

City appoints more members to boards, commissions, with 9 seats left to be filled

News

Virtual play groups the new norm at Smart Start

Local

City meets in closed session to consult with attorney on two ongoing litigation cases

Education

Summit takes art out of the classroom, into the student’s home

Education

Education briefs: Gene Haas Foundation donates $12,500 to RCCC

Business

County’s restaurant grant program dishes out funding to eight local eateries

High School

High school football: Yow out as South head coach

Education

Shoutouts