Spanish exchange students visit Archbishop Williams

Spanish exchange students and their American hosts get together at Archbishop Williams High School

Spanish exchange students and their American hosts get together at Archbishop Williams High School

Archbishop Williams High School this week welcomed 15 students from Spain in the school’s one week cultural exchange program. The students have stayed with American students who had visited them and who stayed with the exchange students' families in Spain during April vacation.

The visitors are from San Jose de Cluny, a preschool through grade 12 school in Bozuelo, a suburb of Madrid. While here, the exchange students spent a full day in classes with their Archbishop Williams counterparts and on other days, took day trips to Boston, Cambridge, Salem, and New York City. When in Spain, Archbishop Williams students have visited Madrid, Barcelona, and Cordoba. Next year’s group will visit Valencia on the coast..

The exchange program, now in its sixth year, is run by Spanish teacher, Ms. Joanne Adams.

AWHS students outside Collegio San Jose de Cluny school

AWHS students outside Collegio San Jose de Cluny school

“The program is so valuable,” said Ms. Adams. “The kids from both schools form relationships and long term friendships with each other. Some who have participated in the past still communicate with each other after many years, and some return to visit on their own. They all know they have a new home in another country.”

For both the American and Spanish students, the exchange trips provide a chance to build on their language skills while immersed in another culture.

Archbishop Williams student at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

Archbishop Williams student at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium

“There is only so much you can learn in a classroom, so when the students come back from the trips, they can speak and understand each other’s language so much better,” said Ms. Adams. “Many of them have commented on how the experience of actually living in a home of the host student and family is a life-changing experience for them.”.

There are currently openings for the Spanish Exchange 2018 program which is set for next April vacation. If interested, please contact Ms. Adams at jadams@awhs.org. Space is limited!