New faces at M.A.: Pauli Zavarská, junior international student

Posted: November 2, 2023

Pauli Zavarská (Photo by Mckenna Johnson)

Zavarská has dreamed of studying here

Imagine getting the opportunity of a lifetime to spend a semester of high school overseas — how would you feel? Excited, surprised, nervous, scared? For a new Slovak student, junior Pauli Zavarská, it was her dream to come study here.

Zavarská attends the C.S. Lewis Bilingual High School in Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava. A generous MA donor offers two one-semester scholarships to C.S. Lewis School students every fall to come and study at Minnehaha. (Senior Filip Markus is also visiting this fall from the C.S. Lewis School, see p. 7.)

“I know Petra and Kristián that were here last year, and they told me ‘Oh, it was amazing! You should definitely try to apply there.’ And then I just applied and they chose me,” Zavarská said.

She loves that Minnehaha students really enjoy going to school and are so nice. She also loves singing and the arts and regularly volunteers in her church community. A new love she has discovered at Minnehaha is the volleyball team.

“They are really accepting and also, I’ve never played volleyball before, so it’s really new for me,” Zavarská said. “But all of the girls on the team are super nice.”

In Slovakia, sports are not a part of school; they are separate programs outside of school, similar to a club sports team in the U.S.

Back home, Zavarská has an older brother, older sister, and very supportive parents. Her family loves the Swedish music band, ABBA, and has a cat named after their famous song, “Chiquitita.”

Zavarská, who is currently staying with the family of junior Adeline Dodd and eighth-grader Lily Anna Dodd, said that some of Minnesota’s highlights so far include going to the state fair and Valleyfair.

At the end of the fall semester, Zavarská and Markus will return to Slovakia in time to spend Christmas with their families and finish their school year at the C.S. Lewis School.

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