US Students Participate in Exchange Program

By Cate Cannon

12 of Oak Hall’s Spanish-studying students are traveling to Uruguay in March for their Spring Break as exchange students with Oak Hall’s sister school, the Colegio Paulo Friere. 

Last year, the Uruguayan students visited Oak Hall for two weeks. The kids went to class with their host students to observe American school life. Because the Uruguayan students lived with Oak Hall students for those two weeks, shadowed the Eagles throughout the day, and went on field trips together, the two groups formed close friendships. 

When the Oak Hall students travel to Uruguay, they will be visiting Colonia de Sacramento, Montevideo, and Punta del Este. On this trip, the Upper School students hope to learn more about Uruguayan life. Upper School Spanish Teacher, Libby Karow, spearheads the trip. “The owner of Colegio Paulo Friere has a house near the beach in Punta del Este where we will spend two days,” she said. 

Sophomore Jasmine Ferris is staying with the family whose daughter she hosted last year. She is extremely excited to go to Uruguay. “I’ve heard so much about Montevideo and the country as a whole, I’m excited to actually go,” she exclaimed. Interestingly, she only talks in English with her Uruguayan partner. “My host knows English fluently and speaks it very well, and I only know a little Spanish,” Ferris explained.

Sophomore Justina Chen was paired with her partner last year as well. Like Ferris, Chen and her partner typically speak in English, as they are both fluent. “I think just being in Uruguay will be an incredible experience,” said Chen. “I love how many connections and experiences speaking Spanish gives you, the community and meeting new friends is great,” she continued.

The students are mostly looking forward to being immersed in the Uruguayan culture and reuniting with their foreign exchange friends.