Host families open home, city and culture to Spanish exchange students

Junior+Adelia+Bergner+is+eager+to+show+her+exchange+student%2C+Elena%2C+what+her+daily+life+looks+like+so+they+can+compare+cultural+routines.+%22I+want+to+go+to+places+and+do+things+that+I+would+normally+do+on+a+day-to-day+basis+because+that%E2%80%99s+the+sort+of+experience+I+want+to+have+when+I+go+to+Spain%2C%22+Bergner+said.+
Back to Article
Back to Article

Host families open home, city and culture to Spanish exchange students

Junior Adelia Bergner is eager to show her exchange student, Elena, what her daily life looks like so they can compare cultural routines.

Junior Adelia Bergner is eager to show her exchange student, Elena, what her daily life looks like so they can compare cultural routines. "I want to go to places and do things that I would normally do on a day-to-day basis because that’s the sort of experience I want to have when I go to Spain," Bergner said.

Flannery Enneking-Norton

Junior Adelia Bergner is eager to show her exchange student, Elena, what her daily life looks like so they can compare cultural routines. "I want to go to places and do things that I would normally do on a day-to-day basis because that’s the sort of experience I want to have when I go to Spain," Bergner said.

Flannery Enneking-Norton

Flannery Enneking-Norton

Junior Adelia Bergner is eager to show her exchange student, Elena, what her daily life looks like so they can compare cultural routines. "I want to go to places and do things that I would normally do on a day-to-day basis because that’s the sort of experience I want to have when I go to Spain," Bergner said.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Students attend school for more than strictly academic learning; they go for a cultural and social education too. Saint Paul Academy and Summit School’s motto, “shaping the minds and the hearts of the people who will change the world,” reflects this intention of cultivating globally-minded alumni. SPA’s robust language exchange program is one example of how it is shaping its students to engage with the world. On Sept. 15 a group of 26 exchange students from El Colegio Malvar in Arganda Del Rey, Spain, arrived, marking the fifth exchange with this school.

US Spanish teacher Rolando Castellanos believes that the interactions between the host families and their visiting students through the language exchange programs are essential for developing leaders of tomorrow.

“[The exchange program] gives the opportunity to two young groups from other countries to know the people, the culture, and the life of another place. Then we are building friendships between countries and cultures. This friendship is fundamental for the young people that live in the world of today and tomorrow,” Castellanos said.

The host students have taken these intentions behind the exchange program to heart and are excited to share their culture, language, and story with the visitors from Spain.

“I want to accurately portray what it is like to live in Minnesota. I want to go to places and do things that I would normally do on a day-to-day basis because that’s the sort of experience I want to have when I go to Spain,” junior Adelia Bergner said.

Bergner will be celebrating her birthday while her exchange student, Elena, is staying with her, so she is planning a special dinner.

“I am excited to go downtown to this rooftop restaurant and show [Elena] what that sort of celebration looks like,” Bergner said.

While the day-to-day activities and “normal” life are essential parts of any cultural exchange, there is also excitement in showing off some more unique Minnesotan experiences.

“I think I might take my exchange student to the North Shore. I am not sure if I actually can, but it would be a cool idea,” senior Erik Quillopa said.

Flannery Enneking-Norton
Senior Erik Quillopa anticipates the exchange of language, food, and culture with his visitor, Alejandro. “I love engaging in language, in foreign trips…I have full confidence in [Alejandro’s] ability to understand English as well as practice it and if he needs help, I am always available,” Quillopa said.

This is Quillopa’s second Spanish exchange, and he is eager to build connections with students from El Colegio Malvar.  

“I love engaging in language, in foreign trips. Just doing this again is another cool experience,” he said.

The host students have great flexibility when it comes to how they spend their after school hours and weekends with their exchange students. During the school day, however, there are planned activities for the visitors from El Colegio Malvar.

I love engaging in language, in foreign trips. Just doing this again is another cool experience”

— Erik Quillopa

“The students will visit a variety of classes, like ceramic or sculpture. And of course, Spanish,” Castellanos said.

On most week days there are also planned tourist trips for the exchange students while their hosts stay at school. Highlights include a visit to the Mall of America, the Capitol, and the Stone Arch Bridge.

One experience that has become a tradition for the Spanish exchange program is a Thanksgiving-themed supper on the last night of the trip.

“We give thanks because [the exchange students] came to us but also because it is fall, and almost Thanksgiving,” Castellanos said.

Gratitude for the exchange is mutual between the host families and their students, for their roles will be reversed in March when SPA students embark on a two week trip to visit El Colegio Malvar.

“I am excited to see the school.That’s really interesting I think, just to see where they learn because we have the same subjects but it is in a different language and the culture of the school is different. Being in an English class will be interesting,” Bergner said.

The cultural connections and lessons fostered by the language programs allow students to engage across borders. The awareness and respect cultivated by SPA’s language exchange program successfully fulfills its intention of producing global citizens who will change the world.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email