Foreign exchange student determined to beat the odds during first trip to U.S.

Foreign exchange student determined to beat the odds during first trip to U.S.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - One high school senior at Coastal Leadership Academy in Myrtle Beach is taking a new journey to learn about American culture.

Sofjia Marajanovic is an exchange student - one of eight taking part in the school's foreign exchange program - from Serbia who has embraced the challenge of being in a new country, a new school and also learning about a new culture.

The leadership class at Coastal Leadership is one of Marajanovic's favorites.

"That is something new for me," she said. "I don't have that kind of class in my country because we have a totally different organization of classes. So yeah, that is the most interesting class."

As part of the program, Marajanovic will spend a year away from her family. She is living with a host family in Myrtle Beach and making new friends.

"Well, I love meeting people, new stuff, culture and adventures in general," she said. "So I thought that this was a great opportunity for me to have a wonderful life experience and go to a totally new world, to see and meet America."

Marajanovic said it has been a big adjustment that started off rough. The first couple of days in America was difficult, as she felt lost. Fortunately, she quickly found her motivation.

"When I came here and saw that I liked it, I became even more motivated for everything that is in front of me and the whole year that is waiting for me," Marajanovic said.

Her teachers say she is staying on top in her classes while also taking part in the archery club and the academic team.

"Sofjia really goes above and beyond with note taking, asking questions," said teacher Daniel Pfister. "She's never afraid to use the wrong word. If she is not exactly sure what the exact translation is, she is confident and she asks. And asking is half the battle."

Marajanovic said she is looking to make some major accomplishments while studying in Myrtle Beach, such as having a successful school year and improving her English skills.

"I will have a wonderful experience so when I go back to my home country I can bring all these memories of all the people that I met here and everything else," she said.

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