Malvern Visited by Students from Across the Pond


Spanish exchange students meet their hosts from Malvern & Villa / Malvern Exchange

Dan McGlinn

Spanish exchange students take in all the U.S. has to offer

Spanish exchange students meet their hosts from Malvern & Villa / Malvern Exchange
Spanish exchange students meet their hosts from Malvern & Villa / Malvern Exchange

Six students from San Lorenzo de El Escorial school in Spain stayed with Malvern host families this spring for just shy of four weeks and were fully immersed in American culture. In addition, two French exchange students arrived in the U.S. over spring break to stay with Malvern host families.

Any foreign exchange is a chance to experience a different culture and environment. For the Spaniards – Gonzalo Gomez, Gonzalo Rubio, Gonzalo Aparicio, Juan Tamayo, Alberto de la Fuente, and Alvero Garcia – this was an excellent opportunity. Highlights of the exchange were the Malvern-sponsored trips to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City.

“Washington D.C. was my favorite,” says Gonzalo Gomez. The most interesting part for him was getting to see all the government buildings, although he liked New York because “the streets were all perfectly straight and organized.” The group visited the White House, drove by the Capitol Building, saw the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and also got to see the World War II Memorial.

For Gonzalo Rubio, New York City was the place to be. “There’s so much food and shopping.” In New York they visited Times Square, shopped in the Apple store, and stopped in the M&M store for a chocolate break.

Other highlights for the foreigners were the trip to the top of the Rockefeller Center and a short stop in St. Patrick’s cathedral.

Higher prices in Europe compelled all the Spaniards to shop till they drop while here. Technology products, shoes, and clothes were popular purchases due to lower prices here in the States. The King of Prussia Mall was like an oasis in the desert and was visited numerous times by the happy Spaniards.

“There was not enough time for everything,” says Gonzalo, sharing the same feelings as the other Spaniards. As much as the group crammed into the short weeks they had, it didn’t feel like enough time and they were all sad to leave.

American food will have any visitor excited, especially in Philadelphia. After taking a tour on the Duck Boats and running up the Rocky steps, Reading Terminal Market was the perfect place to have a Philly Cheesesteak.

“We love the food here,” more than one of the Spaniards remarked. (Americans do, too.)

“I’ve felt my English really improved,” says Gonzalo Gomez, who speaks quite fluently. Malvern students who travel to Spain can relate to the enhanced language skills that come about when someone is fully immersed in a culture and language.

Language isn’t needed, however, when listening to music, and on their last weekend in the States the exchange students experienced Life in Color, a music concert in Philadelphia.

All the students came and went with smiles on their faces and memories in their hearts. The Malvern community gave them an incredible opportunity and we are grateful for letting us host them and show them everything the United States has to offer.

Read more about the future of the Exchange Program