Exchange students’ impression of Holland


Sonja Collins

Exchange students at West Ottawa come from all corners of the Earth.  For most of them this is the first time they have visited Michigan, and the first time they have experienced the weather here. Some of them may have never felt a real cold winter or anything that would be considered cold here in Michigan.

  Soph. Fernando Lacerda is from Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Lacerda had been surprised by the weather in Holland because where he lived before being an exchange student it rarely got below 50 F degrees in the winter, and it is already nearly freezing here and not even the coldest winter will get. Lacerda also said that “We … have a lot of thunderstorms and strong rains. There is no snow in Brazil.”

  Soph. Filippo Gualdi is an exchange student from Modena, Italy. He said the weather there isn’t that much different than Holland, but he mentioned that it already has been colder than he would have expected. He also is unsure what to expect for the weather. “I arrived here August the 26 I don’t know how it’s really like here,” Gualdi said. So, the arrival of winter could come as a surprise to the sophomore.

  Soph. Hamza Khan came to WO from Pakistan. He has possibly the most drastic temperature change from there to here.  “The weather in Holland is extremely different compared to my city. My state has a lot of cold places but sadly, my city is not one of them. The temperature in summers in my city goes up to 115 Fahrenheit. And that’s the average temperature in summers … In winters, the temperature drops to 59 Fahrenheit. Sometimes, it reaches 32 or 30 Fahrenheit. It’s not really cold compared to Holland,” Khan said.

  As fall changes to winter and temperatures drop, exchange students at WO will see a Michigan winter for the first time. Whether they are surprised by the chilly weather and snow instead of rain or think we are too dramatic about the cold because of what they are used to, it will be a new experience for them all.