Senior and Foreign Exchange Student Andreea Vacarus Hopes to Pursue a Career in Engineering


Credit to Avery Witherbee

Senior Andreea Vacarus holds out a t-shirt that reads, “Astudy.” Astudy is the agency Vacarus went through in order to study abroad this year here at Francis Howell North.

By Justin Brewer

Speaking three languages, being dedicated to schoolwork and excelling in math and science seems like an impossible trio. For senior Andreea Vacarus, this is her specialty. Vacarus, a foreign exchange student from Italy, was looking for a change from her daily life and when given the opportunity, she jumped on it.

“I was like kind of tired of home and school and everything and I wanted to change something,” Vacarus said. “I’ve also always wanted to go to America so I think that is a good way to put it. I also want to improve my English.”

Vacarus is what you could call a jack of all trades. She was born in Romania, moved to Italy when she was four and speaks Romanian, Italian and English. She excels in school and loves all of her classes. However, she thoroughly enjoys her Pre-calculus and AP Physics classes. She likes her teachers in both of these classes and hopes they can build towards her career.

“I want to do something in engineering or something like that, or maybe something like business,” Vacarus said. 

One thing that can be challenging as a foreign exchange student is being away from family. The Espinoza’s, Vacarus’s host family, are a first time host family and were thrilled to be able to give her this opportunity. Shelley Espinoza, her host mom, feels she has fit in incredibly well with their family and could not speak more highly of her.

“I would have to say, so far, I have found her to be lovely and she is very serious about her studies,” Espinoza said. “She’s very smart, [she’s in] AP Physics and Pre-Calculus, and she wants to be an engineer. She’s just funny and friendly and easy to get along with.”

Like many things over the past year and a half, COVID-19 was a deterrent in things like the foreign exchange program. So, when the program opened back up, she jumped at the opportunity. She has enjoyed her time here so far and is looking forward to a successful year.

“Well we just wanted to do something good to help a student,” Espinoza said. “This seemed like an interesting way to do that. Growing up, I always wanted to be an exchange student and never got that chance, so I thought maybe I could give someone else that chance.”