Introducing the 2022-2023 AFS Students


courtesy Paulina Fenske

Get to know more about your Chilean and Thai classmates

As Shorewood’s 2022-23 school year begins, American Field Service (AFS) has brought new students across the globe to the district. AFS is an organization that offers international exchange programs to students around the world. Than Worraratkul (Thailand) and Belen Gucman (Chile) are this year’s exchange students.

“I wanted to learn English and meet different people. I thought it would be an interesting experience,” Gucman said when asked why she wanted to partake in an exchange program at only 15

Both girls say that high school in America differs from their schools at home. Not only does SHS have a more open and transitional school day, but there are more clubs, sports and social activities that students are able to take part in. 

I wanted to learn English and meet different people. I thought it would be an interesting experience.

— Belen Gucman, senior

“Every high school in America, like Shorewood, has students walking around, but in Thailand students are sitting in the same room while teachers walk in and out,” Worrartakul said.

Both Gucman and Worraratkul are partaking in school sports during their time at SHS.

 “I am playing volleyball, it’s very different. There are many more sports and clubs here [while] in Chile they don’t have clubs. They only have soccer and basketball so this is fun” Gucman said.

“There are a lot of different clubs from my home country,” Worrartakul said. “I have not joined any yet but I am interested in basketball and waiting for the season.”

Worraratkul shares how life in America is different  outside of school as well. In her free time she enjoys going to the beach, exploring the city of Milwaukee and trying new foods. 

“I like to go to the beach and eat ice cream, [I also] love the city and the streets. I love trees. We don’t have fall in Thailand so the trees are so beautiful out here.”

Both Worraratkul and Gucman share that the food in America doesn’t compare to their traditional food back home. 

“People here use microwaves for food, the flavors are so different,” Gucman said. “In Chile they have a lot of spices and here things are plain.”

Worraratkul agrees that American food just isn’t the same as her food back home.

“I am okay with the food, but I still miss my Thai food. The food there is flavorless, everything is the same. Not too spicy, just medium tasting. In Thailand you can get as many flavors as you want.” 

Whether that is going to the beach, eating ice cream or playing volleyball, the two girls shared that they were excited for the things they are going to do during the rest of their time in America.