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the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

Sister school visitors reflect on their time at SSES

As we bid goodbye to our Argentinian exchange students, the Gauntlet sat down with the visitors to hear what they learned on their journey.
Patrick Van Eyck
The Hosts with their exchange students.

You probably saw our sister school visitors from Argentina roaming around campus last week, with their name tags on display and smiles on their faces as they lived the Saint Stephen’s life for nine days.  

On March 5th, the nine students from our sister school, Colegio Nacional de Monserrat in Argentina, arrived.  Their week here featured tons of events and activities around campus, which Jackson Pakbaz documented in a previous article in The Gauntlet. 

As the students were ready to head back to South America, they shared thoughts on their experience here and what the exchange meant to them.  

When visiting a new place, especially as an exchange student, culture shock is inevitable. Whether it’s learning new family dynamics, how the school operates, or having your initial perspective altered.

One thing that stood out to exchange student, Ornella Brunelli, was how different the U.S. school is from what the media presents it as.

 “I learned how the U.S. school system actually is,” Brunelli said. “When I got here, I thought there would be your ‘popular girls’ and ‘bad guys’ because that’s what it’s like in the movies. But actually, coming here broke that stereotype.” 

Her classmate, Camilla Morales, also shared that, in particular, the social interactions surprised her as well.

“The teachers here are a lot more interactive than in Argentina. They ask you a lot more questions.”

She also mentioned that the way our Spanish courses are taught was a shock to her.

“Sitting in the Spanish classes here surprised me. It was so cool to see that the teachers gave points out to the kids that got stuff right.”

Not only was this a huge learning experience for our exchange students, it was also an opportunity for their hosts to create fun and new memories. Junior host Jack Horn shared that he gained a better understanding of Argentinian culture as a result of hosting.

“Hosting an exchange student for the past week was a very interesting experience,” Horn said.  “Listening to their stories about their home was truly fascinating. I remember the first day when they got here my family and I took him out to go to dinner at around 6:30. Benja, my exchange student, asked, ‘Why are we eating so early?’ He then said ‘I don’t eat until 10:30.’ To hear this was mind-blowing for me.” 

Horn also shared the difference it made in his everyday life.

“Experiencing a different culture makes you have almost a different point of view on things, not just in terms of comparison, but mainly in terms of looking at normal things differently,” Horn said.  “Experiencing this was a very fun experience and I would definitely recommend it.” 

The Saint Stephen’s exchange program has steadily become one of the most many amazing experiences offered at this school. It’s a unique opportunity that can help you grasp what the other parts of the world are really like. If you want to enrich yourself in a new culture next year, head down to Mrs Cotton’s room for more information. 

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About the Contributor
Yara Nimer
Yara Nimer, Staff Writer
Yara Nimer is a Junior and a Staff writer for the Gauntlet. This is her second year writing for the Gauntlet. She loves Yoga, reading, and going to the beach with friends. Her favorite films are Black Swan, Parasite, and The Truman Show. Yara spends a lot of her time listening to Lana del Ray, The Weekend, Zach Bryan, and Hozier. You can always find her either being too loud in the hallway or ranting to Mr. Revard.  

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