Stengel, Mercader Join CHS as Exchange Students

Beatrice Byrd, Staff Writer

This year, we have two exchange students at CHS. One of them is from France, and the other is from Spain. Julie Stengel is the foreign exchange student from France, and she lives just under Paris. Salva Mercader is the foreign exchange student from Spain, and he lives in Valencia. Both of them have very good English skills, and described different aspects of the foreign exchange student program. 

Both Stengel and Mercader agreed that the biggest difference between school here and school in Europe is that the school here is much bigger. 

They both explained that they don’t have the same classes everyday, like they do back home. Mercader said that in Spain, all subjects are in the same class, and Stengel said the same.

“My favorite part of the program is getting to discover American culture, meeting people and speaking English,” Stengel said.

Mecader said that his favorite part is the experience of the whole thing, and of course, learning more English.

Both agreed that the hardest part about being in the program is being away from home.

“It is hard being here because so far from home,” Mercader said. “It is hard to miss my family and friends.”

Stengel added that it is difficult to have no fear when it comes to speaking in a different language. 

 “It is hard not to be afraid to speak English,” Stengel said. “Everything here is new, and it’s hard to adapt.”

Mercader joined the program because his mom did it. He chose America because he would be able to learn more english here rather than his other options: England and Ireland. 

Stengel joined the program because her mom did as well, and her mom said it was a great experience. Stengel was also born in America before returning to France, so she thought it would be great to come here and live where she was born for a while.

Overall, it seems like the foreign exchange student program is a great opportunity for anyone that wants to experience other cultures. Though it may be hard to leave family and friends for a while, both of the exchange students at CHS seem to really love the opportunity to have this experience.