As many students are aware, Bedford High School provides a program for an overseas foreign exchange student to explore life in America. The exchange student travels to Bedford and stays with a host family for the entire school year, taking BHS classes and even trying out for BHS athletics if they choose to. This year, Alba Iturriagagoitia, sophomore, was given the chance to come to the United States from her home in the city of Pamplona, Spain, establishing friends throughout our school and a home in our home, Bedford.
This winter season, Alba was a member of the BHS Alpine Ski Team, making friends with BHS students and taking advantage of the snowy New England weather. This spring, Alba has recently joined the Girls Varsity Tennis Team. On the tennis team, the first through sixth top players play singles at each match. Out of sixteen girls on the team, Alba is number six, solidifying her spot on the lineup.
The Girls Varsity Tennis Team is currently undefeated, having played Londonderry, Manchester Central, Merrimack, Alvirne, Concord, Hanover, Exeter, Manchester Memorial. They still have a way to go in the season with their upcoming matches against Derryfield and Bishop Guertin, other undefeated rival teams.
In Spain, Alba does not play tennis which surprises everyone who has seen her play. She had played tennis from the age ten to twelve, but then began a new sport called padel, a popular sport in Spain similar to tennis. Padel is a racquet sport that combines the aspects of tennis, badminton, and squash.
When asked what she was most excited about in America, Alba answered,
“Before I came here, I watched a lot of American high school movies and I thought high school was going to be really cool, and the sports looked really fun in America. I was just really excited to get into sports teams and meet new people.”
When asked what she likes most about America, Alba responded,
“Everyone is really open, and at the high school everyone is kind of friends with everyone. Sports in Spain are really expensive, but here in the high school it’s free. Everyone is really nice to each other on the tennis team also, and we are really close.”
When asked what the biggest difference between Spain and America is, Alba said,
“In America there are about 400 people in a grade and in Spain there are around 60. The food in spain is healthier. And in Spain you can almost walk everywhere, and here you have to take the car.”
When asked what her biggest fear was coming to America, Alba explained,
“A school year is pretty long and I was scared I was going to miss my family a lot, or the time without my friends.”
When asked about her dislikes about America, Alba answered,
“I don’t like that I can’t walk anywhere. I have to take the bus or the car.”
Though you might think a year would be short for Bedford students to truly get to know Alba, the Girls on the tennis team say that Alba is friendly, relatable, and shines very brightly to everyone she meets. She is funny and compassionate, and a great friend and asset to the players on the Girls Varsity Tennis Team. Alba has been a great addition to our Bedford Bulldog family, and as the school year is coming to a close end, we will miss her when she leaves.