Junior Manuela Treber is a short term exchange student. She explains her life in this interview. (Tana Ososki)
Junior Manuela Treber is a short term exchange student. She explains her life in this interview.

Tana Ososki

[ILLUSTRATED INTERVIEW] Uruguayan exchange student talks about her experience in Minnesota

Manuela Treber is a short term exchange student. She is staying in Minnesota for a month. Through this Illustrated Interview you can learn more about her hopes, goals, and her experience in Minnesota so far.

February 21, 2019

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Where are you from?

“I am from Uruguay.”

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What are you doing in the US?

“I am here to see if I like living in this area. My mother came here when she was my age and stayed with the mother of the family that I am staying with. So we were already family friends.  I love to travel, and experience something different so I am excited to be here. The overall goal is to see if I like it here, so that I can come back in the start of the next school year, and live here for a year.”

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Do you like Minnesota?

“Yeah I do, I have only been here for three days. But this is my first time seeing snow, and it is really beautiful. But I’m still getting used to the cold.”

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What are your hobbies?

“I love swimming, I am actually on the national swimming team for Uruguay. I started when I was very young, maybe seven. You can get on the national team if your time is good enough. My times qualified so I was able to get on the team.”

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Are you able to swim here?

“Yeah I am, if I would come to live here next year that would be something that I would do. I have been swimming at the U of M everyday after school.”

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What do you like about SPA?

“The food and people are really nice. I am an athlete so I mainly eat really healthy. But sometimes you crave a big burger, and SPA has really good. So it’s really fun to eat what I crave.”

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What will you do after you leave Minnesota?

“Well I’m going to go to Uruguay for a few weeks, then I will go to China to train in swimming. After that I plan to go to Chile to go and compete there, and after that I will return home to start school. Yeah it is pretty crazy.”

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Why do you want to come back and stay here for a year?

“Well in Uruguay it is very uncommon to go to the University and continue with your sport. The education system has less sympathy for swimmers. For example if I had a huge swimming tournament and a test on the same day, the school would immediately give me a fail on the test and not take into consideration the sport that I am in. For me to be able to come here I would need to get a scholarship in swimming, and if I got a scholarship I would be able to come here and study. And here in the US the Universities are better with understanding student athletes.”

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What are your goals in swimming?

“Well the overall goal is to go to the Olympics, and swim for Uruguay.”

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Do you have plans after you are done swimming?

“Well one of the reasons that I want to come back to the US is to be able to go to the University while I am swimming. I hope to go to medical school and be a gynecologist.”

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Do you miss your family?

“Yes of course. But I have to choose between my success and my home country. I know that wherever I am there are people in Uruguay that will always support and love me.”

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