New Faces: Vera Trumpi

Vera Trumpi, a foreign exchange student from Switzerland, is a very active individual. “One of my favorite things to do is gymnastics,” Vera said. “A normal day for me in Switzerland is coming home from school, doing a little homework, and then going right to gymnastics practice.”

Vera takes gymnastics to the extreme. “I also do parkour,” she stated. Vera described this as “freestyle gymnastics outside,” where she and her friends do “flips and jump from element to element in town, or anywhere where there are buildings to jump from.”

This is an extremely dangerous sport, yet, Vera assures that she gets plenty of practice time. “My friends (in Switzerland) and I work in a gym where the elements are safe before we go out and do the real thing. We don’t have a coach though, it’s just us teenagers doing what we like to do. It’s like a club, except there is no adult helping us like normal school clubs have.”

image03Vera hasn’t been able to find many American teenagers to join her in parkour, however, the Vermont mountains are plenty to satisfy her. “I do a lot of hiking back at home, so it’s been really nice living in Vermont where there are so many good mountains.”

She’s not just excited about hiking up the mountains. “When the snow falls, I also want to do some snowboarding…. In Switzerland, I live in the north, so I don’t live in the mountains, but when I have school holidays, I’m able to travel to the mountains and go snowboarding with a camp of other kids,” Vera explained.

When comparing her Switzerland life with her American life, Vera can’t say one is much better than the other. She explained that “in Switzerland, I am always with the same people because we are all put into specific schools according to a test we all take….Being with the same people all the time can sometimes be annoying, but I have deeper friendships because everyone knows each other better.”

In America, the school environment is completely different. “Here it seems like people are more open with each other, people have more friends, but the friendships are not so deep….. I’ve met lots of people, and everyone seems to know that I’m the exchange student, but nobody really knows me super well.”

It’s not just the relationships that are different. Vera explied that “in Switzerland, I don’t get as much homework as I do in America, but I do get tested three times a week for a good grade in Switzerland. Here, I just need to do my homework and then I can get good grades.”

Vera could have chosen to go to the UK, yet, she decided to come here. “I chose America,” she explained, “because I wanted to learn English, and also it’s much cheaper to come to America than the UK.”

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