RUMFORD — Marcus Wrangbert wasn’t sure what he wanted to pursue as a career, so he decided to become a foreign exchange student to the United States.

The 17-year-old from Sweden is one of three foreign exchange students attending Mountain Valley High School for the 2013-14 school year. He is a junior.

“I like the sciences,” Wrangbert said. “But I didn’t know what I wanted, so I thought I’d get some ideas here. I had the opportunity, so I thought, why not take it?”

The other exchange students are Guido Quaglino, 16, from Brazil, and Subin Jung, 16, from South Korea.

For Quaglino, this will be the first year he’ll experience snow, and he’s preparing with warm clothes. His home is in Rio de Janeiro, where he lives on the 20th floor of a building.

Here, he is living with Heather and Richard Henderson.

Quaglino chose Rumford after studying maps. He likes it here, he said.

“There are no traffic jams and a lot of trees. I get to pick my classes and sports,” said the soccer player and fan.

Jung is in her second semester at the high school. She began classes last January, and will complete her studies in January 2014. But she won’t be going home. Instead, she’ll head to Telstar Regional High School, where she hopes to finish her high school career, then go to college to study hospitality or hotel management.

When she first arrived in Rumford, she heard students talk about Subway, and she immediately thought of the underground transportation system she uses in Seoul, a city of nearly 11 million people.

Now she knows it’s a sandwich shop.

Jung, whose name means “happy,” has a younger sister, Yubin, whose name means “beautiful.”

She doesn’t have to wear a uniform at high school, which she likes, and she’s a cheerleader.

Wrangbert said he didn’t realize just how big Western Maine is and that sometimes it makes it hard to get around. In Stockholm, he takes buses. Here, he depends on friends and his host family to get from place to place.

He plays soccer and is looking forward to joining the school’s ski team. The climate is not much different from his home, he said.

Wrangbert lives with the Shirley Bloor family in Mexico and often gets together with foreign exchange students from nearby high schools.

If any of the students have any problems or just want to talk, Brittany Wakefield, a senior who is president of the high school’s International Club, is there to help.

“We meet once a month to see if they need anything,” she said.

Brittany has been a member of the club since she was a freshman.

“It’s so cool to be one-on-one with them,” she said.

Her older sister, Audrey, was also involved with the International Club.

“She loves languages and is studying international studies,” Brittany said.

In December, each foreign exchange student will make presentations about their countries at a schoolwide assembly.

Chances are, they won’t have a problem with that.

“America is amazing,” Jung said.


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