Peanut butter; an average food in America. Yet, for Spanish foreign exchange student Bea Jimenez-Carles ’16, peanut butter is one of many new things she is excited to try while studying abroad.
Jimenez-Carles is one of three students coming from the Aquinas American School of Madrid. Álvaro Garde ’15 and Beltrán Carrillo ’17 are, as well, staying for a semester.
Last year Mr. George Weigel, biographer for John Paul II, visited the Aquinas American School of Madrid. The school informed him that they were interested in launching an international studies program in the United States. Having previously visited Providence Academy as a speaker, Weigel thought PA would be a good fit for the Aquinas American School.
Fast forward to fall of 2013, and Weigel’s suggestion is now reality.
In addition too the Aquinas American School students, PA will host Paula Horeno ’16 for a full year.
Horeno is from Spain, but is not affiliated with the Aquinas American School.
According to the Chair for the Department of World Languages, Mrs. Joelynn Lahr, “Paula’s mom and Mrs. Patnode were really good friends” and, as a result, the Patnode family will be hosting Horeno during her stay.
Each student has different aspirations for their visit, but all wish to improve their English.
Garde is staying with the Ritz family, and hopes to “meet new people.” He is planning on playing soccer for the boys soccer team.
Jimenez-Carles is looking forward to “learning a lot of things and making new friends.” She is staying with the Yelich family.
Carrillo finds Providence Academy to be “very big” and thinks it’s interesting that there are “soccer places, and football places, and basketball places.” He will be staying with the Perinovic family.
While Providence will only be receiving students from the Aquinas school this year, in the future, the school hopes to expand the program.
“In the next few years we hope to send students over to Spain,” stated Mrs. Lahr.
During the students’ time in America, Mrs. Lahr hopes they can gain “A deeper understanding of American culture, the culture in our school, and the foundation of faith that we live in and out of school.”