Isadora from Brazil


Brazilian exchange student Isadora Coimbra can usually be found practicing tennis after school with the SMHS Tennis team for two hours each day. When she is not practicing her tennis skills, she is usually doing her homework at home.

Isadora Coimbra is joining us from Goiânia, Brazil for this school year. In Brazil, she would go to school everyday from 7A.M. to 1P.M. After school, She enjoyed participating in her school’s Investment Club where she would learn about the stock market. When she finally found some time in her busy schedule, she would hang out with her friends and travel.

“I mostly wanted to participate in the foreign exchange program to learn the language, but I also have had a desire to study a year abroad.” Isadora mentioned. She chose to come here because she thought everything was nice and organized here when she visited for the first time.

When asked what the biggest difference between the U.S. and Brazil was, she said: “Here in the U.S., there are laws, and people respect them. That doesn’t happen very much in Brazil. The people here also have a better quality of life.”

Isadora is enjoying her time here in the States. She has met nice people and seen beautiful places. She is exciting about the upcoming year and believe it will be a great one. “I want to thank everyone for being so nice to me,” she said, “I wish the whole bearcat family a good year!” Isadora also have some amazing plans for her future. She intends to attend university in Brazil and major in economy.


Anna Kumada from Japan


“The Japanese royal princess goes to my school.” Anna Kumada, an exchange student from Japan, said me as we made our way through the hallway. Anna was both polite and energetic as she shared her story while her earrings caught the light and sparkled.

Surprisingly, Anna does not miss Japan all that much. “I never miss Tokyo,” she let out a nervous giggle, “it’s a very humid city.” Perhaps her excitement to arrive at this new country has to do with her experience too—turns out Anna was born here. But this is the first time she has returned to America ever since she moved back to Japan at the age of one.

Although Anna has a close connection to this country, she still needs some time to get used to the new environment since the American school system is totally different from the Japanese one. “We have Home Room,” Anna explained, “People in the same Home Room have classes together.” The classes are different as well. “For juniors, we can choose either ‘literature and history course’ or ‘math and science course’. “ But Anna doesn’t seem intimated by the big change. “I like SMHS more than my Japanese high school.” she admits.

During her free time, she enjoys watching Youtube videos. She also won’t hesitate to curl with a book on a lazy day. No wonder her favorite saying in Japanese

Erik Dahlstrom from Sweden


Walking into the physics classroom in his orange and white football uniform, Erik Dahlstrom, an exchange student who was both born and raised in Sweden, turns people’s heads with an air of confidence. This should not come as a surprise to those who know him: his sport record screams for attention. He has been a tennis coach for nine years in Sweden; he enjoyed playing football until he broke his collarbone (ouch!). Need any more proof that Erik is possibly the most passionate athlete you have ever met? He even claims that weight lifting is his favorite class this year.

Used to the cold weather in Sweden, Erik is surprised after he arrived at the sunny California, especially now that he doesn’t need to put on a T-shirt, a hoodie, and a jacket to keep him warm. He lives with his host family near Burlingame High School. Erik lives on an Island back home, and using a ferry is his only way to get to school. Erik also has a love for music, especially rock-n-roll. He plays guitar for 8 years and joined a band back in Sweden.

Breana Picchi, junior, agrees that Eric is a great athlete. “He has only been here for 3 weeks, but he already adjusts so well into the American culture,” said Breana. True to Breana’s words, Erik can’t wait to improve English. Erik is currently taking English 5-6 along with his peers in the junior class.