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Spanish students enjoy American life

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For the eighth year in a row, Grayslake North hosted students from Spain to enjoy the culture of America.

This year, only three students from Share America visited North. Grayslake Central, who also participates, had none.

Share America is an organization that allows students from France and Spain to experience the United States for the first time. When starting the organization in 2000, their hope was to give people the opportunity to share their cultures, as well as make lifelong friends.

James Murphy, Spanish teacher at North, was disappointed in the drop of exchange students, although he is optimistic for future years.

“This is by far the smallest group of Share America students we have seen,” said James Murphy.

Maria Del Mar was one of the three students visiting North. She is from Granada, Spain.

“I loved my host family. I had an amazing time because of them. They were always there for me if I needed anything, and I miss them so much,” said exchange student Maria Del Mar.

Del Mar returned to Spain after three weeks of staying with Chloe Berna and the rest of her host family. Chloe Berna is a sophomore at North who has been hosting students from Spain for three years now.

“We started because my mom found out about it and thought it would be fun for my brother. Then my brother graduated, and I decided to try it,” said sophomore Chloe Berna.

Exchange students come to North to expose those taking Spanish to their language and also allows exchange students to see the American culture. While here, Del Mar was able to take multiple trips to Chicago, exploring the city and the food it has to offer.

“Everything was so different than what I was used to. I really liked the huge buildings and the shopping avenues,” Del Mar said.

Murphy encourages students to take part in the Share America program as much as they can.

“Next time you see them, go out of your way to introduce yourself and make them feel welcome. You never know when you might be the one visiting a new place,” Murphy said.

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Spanish students enjoy American life