By HANNAH STEELE – On September 7, 2017, numerous high school level students from all over Spain came to Indiana Senior High to give information about their culture and to gain an American experience from a foreign perspective.
While in America, the Spanish students toured Falling Water, shopped at the Grove City Outlets, took a Duck Tour of Pittsburgh, visited the IUP campus, took a trip to Washington, D.C. to visit monuments and museums, went to the American and Canadian sides of Niagara Falls, and many other activities that gave them a taste of American culture.
Mr.Brian Henninger, one of the Spanish teachers at IHS, was heavily involved with the exchange students’ experiences in the United States. Henninger stated, “The students were immersed in American culture, observed classes at IHS, and answered questions that our students had about Spain.”
Sophomore Brooke Boyer’s exchange student, María Garrido Martín, a freshman from Málaga, Spain had a great time in America commenting, “My favorite thing I did in America was the trip with my host family to New York City. We had a great time!”
Some IHS students were concerned about the cultural and language barrier. Regarding this, sophomore Erin Okey, who hosted María Felici, said “She was incredibly good at English, so communication was very easy. We didn’t speak much Spanish because she was here to improve her English.”
Claudia España, a junior from Málaga, stayed with senior Katie Kane. She really enjoyed her time in America saying, “My stay here has been awesome. My host family was very kind, and they showed me a lot of American things, like baseball, different stores, and American food.”
España continued, “I think that IHS is an amazing school that has incredible subjects to study. Also there are good installations to do sports. I’m so glad that I had this opportunity to learn about American culture. I have been in beautiful places, met a lot of wonderful people, and I have enjoyed my three week stay.”
The Spanish students left to go back home to Spain on September 28. Sophomore Brooke Boyer had to say a tearful goodbye to her student, “I was really sad when she left because we grew to be so close, and it was like saying goodbye to one of my best friends.”
“¡Buena suerte en España!” Good luck in Spain!
[Photo by Brian Henninger]
Photo Caption: The exchange students and their hosts, along with Spanish teacher Mr. Brian Henninger, enjoy the view from Mt. Washington in Pittsburgh.