Barbara Desilva says bonjour to Belgium


Unlike most juniors, Barbara Desilva will be spending her senior year abroad. She will be spending 11 months in a french speaking part of Belgium. Due to her drive and academic achievements, she was able to make this dream come true.

Lauren Henry, Staff Writer

As most juniors gear up for senior year, Barbara DeSilva looks forward to a year of studying in Belgium. She plans to travel and gain a greater world perspective. Carlsbad High school accommodates many foreign students, but rarely view a local student leaving to study abroad.

Though studying abroad requires a lot of planning,  the right circumstances aligned themselves in DeSilva’s favor.

“I was interested in studying abroad so I researched programs for high school students,” junior Barbara DeSilva said. “The first company I found offered a program in the french speaking part of Belgium.”

The qualifications set by the program were well exceeded by DeSilva’s academic accomplishments.

“The requirements for the program were to have relatively good grades, and just to be healthy,” said DeSilva. “My GPA last semester was a 4.8 so that helped me acquire the opportunity.”

Most high schoolers would feel nervous about being away from family, but DeSilva views this as a possibility to expand her experiences. Since this is a one in a lifetime opportunity, DeSilva wants to absorb as much knowledge as possible.

“I will be staying in Belgium for 11 months with a host family,” DeSilva said. “While I’m there, I want to become fluent in French and travel more. It will be a good opportunity to become more independent and grow before college. I’m looking forward to seeing the castles and eating the waffles and chocolate.”

After visiting Belgium, DeSilva plans to follow her childhood goals of attending college in her dream city.

“I really love New York and hope to attend a college there, either NYU or Barnard,” DeSilva said. ” If I find Belgium really interesting I would consider attending a university there or at least visiting it later.”