Ana Aguillon has spent a lot of time traveling abroad with her family but decided to take her own journey to Sequim as an exchange student.
Ana, 16, is a high school junior from Mexico who moved to Sequim last August and will be an exchange student in Sequim until June.
She is involved in the same exchange program as many of her fellow exchange students at Sequim High School, such as friend Emma from Belgium, and wanted to attend school in America to improve her English.
Sequim High School is a significant change for Ana, coming from a private school that requires uniforms every day and a schedule of eight classes per day and 10 classes each week.
“I like it (here). It’s really easy,” she said.
At Sequim High School, Ana takes six classes Monday through Friday and said she is enjoying the ability to choose some of her classes — especially cooking class.
“Here I can choose my classes and back home I can’t,” she said.
“I love cooking class,” she added. “We don’t have that type of classes (back home) so it’s really different.”
She said she loves pancakes and has enjoyed learning how to cook them.
Ana also said she appreciates Sequim teachers’ willingness to give additional help if it is needed.
“They help us a lot,” she said.
“You can come after class and they will meet with you and explain something.”
After high school, Ana said she is interested in pursuing administrative finance or international business. At her school in Mexico when a student is a senior they are able to choose an area they want to study to help prepare them for the university.
“Senior year at my school in Mexico we have blocks and you choose what you want to study in that block,” she said. Some examples of these classes she gave include economics, law and finances.
Life outside the classroom
Ana said she is from a northern part of Mexico and the city she lives in is close to the size of Silverdale.
The weather in Sequim is much colder than in Mexico, she said, but she has become used to the cold and the winter season.
She has enjoyed visiting places in Sequim such as the Dungeness Spit because there are not close access to beaches back home where she lives.
“I live in desert and forest so I don’t have beaches close,” she said.
She also hopes to visit Storm King while she is living in the area as well as Victoria. Traveling has always been a family affair, she said, and they have visited many parts of America from Texas to Florida and parts of Europe as well.
While Ana said she is warming up to Sequim’s weather, one big difference she has noticed living in America so far is the food.
Much of the food she eats back home is prepared from start to finish, such as rice, which she said she cleans and cooks rather than being able to put it in water and have it instantly ready.
“It’s really different in that aspect,” she said. “Here you put everything in the oven and it’s ready.”
While the food in America is different from back home, Ana said she enjoys going to Reddog coffee and ordering a spritzer drink — which she has never tried before — as well as Adagio Bean & Leaf and Hurricane Coffee.
She also enjoys being able to walk everywhere in Sequim, for example from school to Hurricane Coffee whereas back home many people drive from one place to the next.
In her free time, Ana said she likes to play soccer, practice cheer and hang out with her friends. She hopes to try playing tennis in the spring. She also hopes to visit Yellowstone National Park while she is living in America.
Reach Erin Hawkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.