Get to Know CHS’s Foreign Exchange Students


CHS’s three AFS foreign exchange students — Chahinaz “Chay” El Baraky (from left), Jenna Yourstone and Thais Dominguez Matsuoka — were honorary members of this year’s Homecoming Court.

Isabell Kopf

This year, CHS is hosting three AFS foreign exchange students: Chahinaz “Chay” El Baraky, Jenna Yourstone and Thais Dominguez Matsuoka. Here is some background information on the students and their thoughts on life in Chilton thus far.

Where are you from? What is your hometown like?
Chay: Morocco. My hometown is Tangier, a city located in the coast of Morocco, and it’s the only city where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. I love Tangier because it full of different cultures since it was
an international city back in the day, and it’s one of the biggest cities in Morocco. The second language in Morocco is French, but in Tangier, Spanish is spoken often because Spain is only 40 to 60 minutes away by boat.

Jenna: Sweden. My hometown is Stockholm. I live in two different parts of Stockholm (Bromma and Hammarbyhöjden) because my parents are split up. I love Stockholm. It’s very hip, and there’s always something happening. There’s a lot of shopping and malls in the center of Stockholm, and it’s very easy to get around by public transportation. What a lot of people don’t know is that Stockholm is built on a bunch of islands that’s all connected to each other, so there’s a lot of lakes and nature.

Thais: Paraguay. My hometown is Yguazu, a city located in the east part of Paraguay. It’s a small city founded by Japanese immigrants and composed by Paraguayans, Brazilians, Japanese, Germans, Swiss and French, who
preserve their languages ​​and traditions. Brazil and Argentina is only 40 to 60 minutes driving from Yguazu. When I need to go shopping, I just go to Ciudad del Este, which is 30 minutes from my hometown.

Who is a part of your birth family? Who is your host family?
Chay: My birth family is my mother, Hamida Sembak, and my father is Ahmed El Baraky. I have an older brother called Yassine El Baraky. My host family is the Moehns: Michelle, Jeff, Mariah, Marissa and Jenna.

Jenna: My birth family is my mother, Louise Tegborg Yourstone, and my father, Johan Dahlgren. They broke up when I was one year old, so I have always had two families. On my dad’s side, I’ve got my sister Emelie Dahlgren. On my mom’s side, I have my sister Mikaela Yourstone and my two stepsisters, Johanna Tegborg and Sara Tegborg. My host family is the Grubes: Chris, Jessica, Austin and Haley.

Thais: My birth family is my mother, Arminda Matsuoka, and my father, Pablo Dominguez, and I have an older brother, Alan. My host family is the Halbachs: Joe, Maria, Amber, Lukas and Zack.

What is one thing here that is very different from back home?
Chay: It’s completely different for me. We have a lot of public transportation in Tangier, such as taxis, buses, etc. I don’t have a curfew, but staying in the city after 10 p.m. is dangerous, especially during winter and fall. I used to walk to school, but a lot of people don’t do that here. We eat four meals in Morocco; whereas, here it is only three meals.

Jenna: We don’t drive cars as much as you do here because we have a lot of local transportation. I am very independent in Sweden because I don’t have a curfew or anything as long as I behave. I can also go wherever I want, however, as long as I tell my parents.

Thais: My life in Paraguay is almost the same. My city is really small, so we don’t have local transportation, and my parents or my brother used to take me wherever I want. A different thing is that we used to hang out with friends a lot. I go to my friend’s house almost every weekend, or they come to my house. We spend the night watching movies and eating. We give hugs like a “Hi!” and here you just give hugs for a special occasion. The weather in Paraguay is always warm, even in winter, so the winter here will be a lot for me.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen so far?
Chay: Food! We eat soda with supper or lunch. Milk and chocolate milk is consumed only during breakfast.

Jenna: I don’t really know. You eat fast food for school lunch. Your food in general is pretty simple, boring and childish — hahaha. In Sweden, cooking can take hours. You also don’t mix your food, which is so weird, and everything is larger here. A regular soda at McDonald’s is larger than a large soda in Sweden.

Thais: The food — hahaha. In our food, we use a lot of meat, rice and noodles. And we cook for every meal; here your food is fast food. We just have milk for breakfast, and for other meals we have sodas and a lot of juice and smoothies.