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Paradise High School gains exchange students

While many students have left the district, Paradise gained two from other countries.

Posted: Aug 16, 2019 8:27 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - While many students have left the district, Paradise gained two from other countries.

Two exchange students shared with Action News Now just how they ended up in Paradise for school.

Emin Ugyun, of Turkey, said his friend told him about the grant program to come to America.

"It was so exciting for me," said Ugyun. "There was a long process which was also hard, but finally I figured it out somehow and I am here."

Danil Bondarets is a senior from Kyrgyzstan who said he loves meeting people from new cultures and learning about the cultures. 

Bondarets said he finds the exchange program to be a great way to learn about the American culture beyond what is shown in movies.

"But also share my culture and to tell people about my country, Kyrgyzstan," said Bondarets.

Both students said they had trouble the first day but people have been friendly.

They said they are impressed by the resiliency of Paradise.

"When I found out the Paradise city got burned down... Now it is really great to see how the city is going through the whole recovery process," said Bondarets. "Because people are staying strong, they are not letting down and have a passion about bringing their city back to life and they are really doing a great job."

"It is incredible to make everything better than it used to be in ten months," said Ugyun. "It was surprising, but in the way, I didn't believe it was burned all."

The boys are staying with the Sinclaire family, who were the first to move back into their rebuilt home in Paradise.

"They are passionate about it and I love them," said Ugyun.

"I am incredibly grateful for them because they let me live in their house," said Bondarets. "They are such nice people and I am incredibly grateful."

Victoria Sinclaire, the boys' host mom, said she is most excited for the boys to watch Paradise rebuild and see the community come together.

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