Chilean exchange student Gonzalo Jimenez shines on soccer field


Gonzolo Jimenez shines on his turf right here at CHS. (credit: Sierra Gomperts)

Matt La Bounty, staff writer

Students from countries all across the globe, from Chile to Germany, come to Carlsbad, to experience a new culture and meet new friends they would have never of had the chance to meet.  Some exchange students even join the abundance of sports teams CHS has to offer.

Gonzalo Jimenez, a student from Chile, is currently spending his second year in Carlsbad, living with a friend he made while here on his first stay.

“I have been to Carlsbad two times, and its been very good,” Jimenez said.  “I’ve met a lot of people and made great friends.”

Jimenez’s first stay in Carlsbad during the 2011-2012 school year was spent with relatives and he brought his passion for soccer from Chile and tried out for school team.

“I’ve been playing since I was five years old and I played for my high school back in Chile and when my new friends from my classes found out that I played soccer, they encouraged me to tryout,” Jimenez said.

During his first trip to America, he made the junior varsity team and had his first taste of “futbol” in America.  Now here for the second time, Jimenez has earned a spot on the varsity squad.

Even though he grew up playing in Chile, he still seems many similarities between the sport in the two countries.

“It’s pretty much the same thing, but the main difference is how we practice,” Jimenez said. “In the U.S we seem to run more whereas in Chile we focus more on the technical aspects of the game.”

Living in a foreign country can be daunting, especially the language barrier, which makes simple communication difficult. But Jimenez has seemed to overcome this challenge.

“Sometimes it can be difficult, but I came here with a basic foundation of the language with my English classes in Chile, and since it is my second time living here, my English keeps improving,” Jimenez said.

Jimenez has enjoyed his time playing soccer in Carlsbad, and cherishes all the opportunities he has been given.

“It gave me the opportunity to meet new people and make friends, bonds that I will have for the rest of my life,” Jimenez said.