Say Hello to Students from Abroad

A look into the life of a student away from home

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By flying away from the ordinary sequence of Warrenton life, students expose themselves to new worlds, but give back by allowing others to experience the life in Northern Virginia. The US is home to the largest number of foreign exchange students, and each year Fauquier County sees new cultures that add to the trade of international education.

Students take on the role of displaying the life of the average American teen to teens from around the world. Senior Joshua Rigby has had the privilege of hosting students from France and Spain. Most recently, Pablo Urbon stayed with him and his family, which exposed them to the vibrant Spanish culture. “I like learning about their culture and what’s different between mine and theirs,” said Rigby. “I have learned so much, especially about how people my age interact and behave, like little tendencies like in France it’s very common to not kiss someone on both cheeks if you don’t like them. Yes, [having an exchange student] is fun and then you can also always stay with them when you visit their country and you get free lodging which is cool if you like to travel.” All the way from Palencia, Spain, a wave of Spanish exchange students came to stay with students and got the chance to experience the daily life of an American high school student. Urbon enjoyed his time in Virginia. “My time in America was very nice, it is always fantastic to discover new cultures and types of life,” said Urbon. “My favorite part about Warrenton was the town and the neighborhood. The town main street was nice too. Hiking with my American and Spanish friends was my favorite thing we did. Yes! [being involved with the exchange program] is a great opportunity for exploring other countries and cultures.”

“My experience in America was so cool, everything is so different in the states,” said recent Spanish exchange student Pedro Garcia said. “My favorite part about Warrenton was Chick-fil-a and the ice cream place. The U.S. is my new favorite country now that I got to visit through the program. Everyone should do it because you see so much.” Junior Miles Housley took the opportunity to experience the culture of his former German exchange student over the 2017 summer. “[The trip] changed my outlook on the world in a huge way. I’ve been looking at doing a year abroad in college,” said Housley. “I totally recommend exchange trips. The Germany trip gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of new people and make friendships that won’t fade away.” Students who are interested in hosting a foreign exchange student or who are interested in traveling, there are many different travel opportunities right here in school. See Mr. Kuzma or Mr. Pittman for information on the upcoming Welsh trip, or stop by their classrooms to pick up a flyer for more information on the exchange programs.

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