Melting Pot ‘Merica

New-to-U.S., exchange students join Maverick community


Diversity dominates McNeil having a wide variety of ethnic groups with more than 50 languages spoken.

Students and teachers welcomed 25 new foreign students increasing the amount since last year, with the three biggest groups being from Mexico, Korea, and Brazil.

English as a Second Language services – offered to students who do not speak English – provide an in depth, more thorough understanding of the language.

Among these newcomers, senior Caio Brandão de Bragança came from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, along with his father who is seeking college opportunities at the University of Texas.

“McNeil is surprising in structure and logistics,” Bragança said. “It has a lot of people variety, and inclusion of foreigners and special students.’’

Every year McNeil also hosts five exchange students from all over the world.

Junior Jeanne Zeppa traveled from Chaverne, France, to Texas. Zeppa chose the United States due to her interest in English and curiosity for American lifestyle.

“I wanted to learn the English language better, and have better opportunities later in life,” Zeppa said. “I wanted to get out of my daily routine and I love traveling.’’

Although homesick for relatives and friends, Zeppa has enjoyed her experiences.

“The ups are that I have a good host family and I get to discover everything,” Zeppa said. “The downs include [the difficulty of] the language and my family and friends being back in my country, I miss them. McNeil is bigger than my old school and the teachers are really nice.’’