New student from Australia joins Saratoga High community

November 17, 2008 — by Girish Swaminath

Moving from city to city may seem hard to adjust to, but imagine moving to a completely different country. Freshman Sam Cokes had to go through this transition when he recently moved from Sydney, Australia to Saratoga.

“Because of all the sharemarket crises, there were not many houses around,” said Cokes. “So, we just decided to take a house wherever we could. Moreover, we were looking for a change in our lives.”

Although Cokes and his family desired a shift in location, Cokes did not anticipate his move to be smooth. He is still adjusting to the Saratoga environment, but feels that “it is pretty much the same thing” and finds “nothing surprising” about the United States, except for probably the different English accents.

“Well, our transition from Australia to [the United States] was not that easy,” said Cokes. “We had to go through a 13-hour plane ride. I also have a 2-year-old brother, and [he] has been difficult to manage these times.”

Despite the tough change, Cokes loves the SHS environment and interacting with his peers and his teachers. He really enjoys being at this school and having the opportunity of learning and getting accustomed to the American culture.

“I like the people, the way the schools work, the lifestyle and the music—pretty much everything,” said Cokes. “My teachers here are fun, definitely compared to my teachers in Australia who were really bad. I didn’t like them at all.”

Although Cokes cherishes his life here in America, he feels nostalgia for his life back home. He unfortunately feels that he cannot pursue some of his hobbies and passions, such as bike riding and surfing, as often as he did in Australia, due to the far distance between Saratoga and the nearest beach.

“I miss all my friends and riding my bike. I also lived really close to the beach, where I would go surfing a lot,” said Cokes.

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