Exchange Students From Spain Gain New Experiences and Discover American School System


Reilly Smith

Sophomore exchange students Alicia Merayo Alonso and Jorge Carbonero Asin are here through Friday, March 8.

Maya Smith, Assistant Editor

La Salle has the opportunity to host two students from Spain through the ANDEO international homestay program, for four weeks, which started Monday, Feb. 11, and ends Friday, March 8. Sophomore Alicia Merayo Alonso is staying with junior Madison Jefferis and sophomore Payton Jefferis, and sophomore Jorge Carbonero Asin is staying with junior Owen Tunstill.

While they’re here, they are participating in core classes and electives and learning more about the American school system, and how it differs from their schools in Spain.

“[The American school system is] different [compared] to the Spanish one,” Carbonero Asin said. “I am not used to it, and a bit lost, but I really like it. If I was used to it, I would prefer having it, because in Spain we don’t change classes and teachers, [like you do here.]”

Reilly Smith
Sophomore Alicia Merayo Alonso with her host sister, sophomore Payton Jefferis.

Merayo Alonso talked about the technology used at La Salle, and how it is different from what they use in Spain. “The use of the iPads is so different because we always use paper, and I think you can get more [distracted], but also it is a good [tool],” Merayo Alonso said. “If you can’t go to school, then you can take the classes with the iPad, and I think [the classes are] more dynamic than in Spain.”

In Spain they address their teachers differently than in the United States. “You refer to your teachers as Mr. and Mrs.,” Carbonero Asin said. “[In] Spain we ask them things with their first names, but [that] is more like a cultural difference.”

In the week and a half Merayo Alonso and Carbonero Asin have been in Oregon, they have been to and seen many new places. “[Last] weekend I went to OMSI,” Carbonero Asin said. “I’ve also [gone] to Mt. Hood, and the waterfalls that are near it.”

Reilly Smith
Sophomore Jorge Carbonero Asin with his host brother, junior Owen Tunstill.

“I went to [a hockey and basketball game,]” Merayo Alonso said. [I got] to go see a debate, [and I’ve] seen the old Oregon buildings, and the river.”

Both Merayo Alonso and Carbonero Asin have become familiar with some of the people around La Salle.

“I [have gotten to] know Payton’s friends, and some of Madi’s friends,” Merayo Alonso said. “I’ve also been taking [the] guitar class, and there are some girls who are so kind and funny.”

“I have met some of Owen’s friends, and I’ve made other [friends] in some classes, because [Owen and I] don’t go to the same classes,” Carbonero Asin said.

Reflecting on the time she’s been here, Merayo Alonso said, “I’ve been having so much fun, and I would like to stay more, [but] I [only] have [a little bit of time left], and I would like to see more places [before I leave.]”

Merayo Alonso and Carbonero Asin only have one week left at La Salle before they head back to Spain, with their last day at school being next Friday, March 8.