There were many cultural differences experienced in coming to rural Iowa from Siegel's home in Curitiba, a city of about 2 million people in southern Brazil.
The biggest adjustment for him was the climate. "I had never seen snow before. I prefer warmer weather," Siegel said.
So do many Iowans. He happened to come to Iowa during the year with the roughest winter in many years.
He hopes to come back some day to visit. What Siegel expects he will miss most about Iowa is similar to what he misses most about his home. He misses friends and family in Brazil and will miss his friends and host family when he leaves Iowa.
His father, Erico Siegel, drives a taxi in Curitiba, and his mother, Rosana Diniz Siegel, is a homemaker. He has a younger brother, Alison, age 13.
The family make-up is similar here. Mark and Suzanne Lux of rural Cherokee, have a 12-year-old son, Jaden.
When Siegel first arrived, he didn't talk much. He had a fairly good understanding of English but being able to speak it well took some practice.
Portuguese is the language of Brazil. Siegel said Portuguese is similar to Spanish and that speakers of Portuguese and speakers of Spanish are generally able to understand each other.
In Brazil, the school day is shorter, with students able to choose between attending in the morning or afternoon. He said the academic difficulty is about the same there as it is here.
Another cultural difference is the difference in food, with Americans eating far more convenience foods than Brazilians do.
Siegel has participated in cross country and track at Washington High School.
When he returns to Brazil, he plans to take high school equivalency exams and will be ready to attend a university in the fall. He will study architecture or engineering.
"I've enjoyed it here," Siegel concluded.