2018-10-11 / News

Welcome to Swartz Creek

Exchange students settling in, looking forward to experiences
810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com

Chak Hong “Jacky” Ma and Marta Corvaglia Photos by Lania Rocha Chak Hong “Jacky” Ma and Marta Corvaglia Photos by Lania Rocha SWARTZ CREEK – Three area families are providing homes away from home for exchange students studying at Swartz Creek High School this year.

The teens who are learning about America from the Swartz Creek perspective are Marta Corvaglia, Amanda Ferreira and Chak Hong Ma.

Corvaglia is a 17-year-old senior from Padua, Italy. She is residing with Jennifer, Douglas and Maxwell McDonald.

Her mother, Eleonora Mancusi, teaches Italian to foreign students; her father, Walter Corvaglia, is a military engineer in the Italian Army. She also has a sister, Lisa Corvaglia, who is 18.

Corvaglia wanted to be exchange student “because I always had the ‘American dream’ and I wanted to improve my English and get to know a new culture and country.”

She said Swartz Creek is very different from Padua, which is a large city. She said she is used to walking or bicycling around her home town, so she’s not accustomed to taking the car everywhere.

Amanda Ferreira Amanda Ferreira “But I love that it is quiet,” she said.

Another big difference is in sports, Corvaglia said.

“In Italy, high school sport is something that no one cares about, while here, it is a big deal,” she explained, adding, “and I love going to football matches.”

Corvaglia said she would like to see Washington, D.C. and join the Model United Nations in New York. Other than that, she hopes to apply to colleges and perhaps visit some.

Her plans include studying biology and finding a job as a researcher in that field, preferably marine biology. She hopes to attend college in the southern United States.

“People here are really nice and I have already made some friends,” she said.

Ferreira, 15, is a junior from Brazil. Her host family is Hope, Heidi, Clayton and Hannah Rockafellow.

Her parent, Renato de Fatima, Claudino Ferreira and Marcos Aurelio Ferreira, are merchants.

Ferreira said she wanted to be an exchange student to experience the culture and learn English.

She said she likes the Swartz Creek community.

“I think incredible,” she said.

Ferreira hopes to visit various places in the U.S. and make new friends. She plans to return to Brazil to finish high school and begin studying at the College of Design.

Ma, who goes by the nickname Jacky, also is staying with the Rockafellows. He is a 15-year-old sophomore from Hong Kong.

Back home in China, his family includes parents Ren Lan Li and Yok Ming Ma and siblings Jia Xiang and Wen.

He wanted to be an exchange student to learn English, and he hopes to see some snow while he’s here.

He said Swartz Creek differs from his home town because “everything is so far away” here.

Ma plans to attend Hong Kong Technology University.

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