LHS experiences 16 days of Spain in September

Foreign exchange program brings Spanish duo to Bealeton


(From left to right) Gonzalo Hermosa and Fran Cesara-Sobrino shared their experience with the LHS community as part of their foreign exchange program.

Susy Holbrook and Christian Jordan, Staff Editors

For 16 days this September, two foreign exchange students from Spain attended Liberty High School.

They were hosted by an American family and participated in lots of fun activities during their stay here.

Fran Cesara-Sobrino and Gonzalo Hermoso came all the way from Palencia, a small town in Spain. They are both sixteen years old and attend La Salle School.

In their short time here, they have learned a lot about American culture. They expressed their thoughts happily and were keen to share the similarities and differences between the United States and Spain.

Fran and Gonzalo stayed with Thanuwat Kraiwan for the majority of their visit. They left and went to New York with other students from their school in Spain. They also did not attend school every day; however, they did attend for a good portion of their stay here.

“I wanted to come here to meet people, see monuments and places, and to experience what I’ve only seen on TV,” said Cesara-Sobrino.

“I participated in the foreign exchange student program, because I wanted to be in the United States and stay with an American family. Everything about the United States seems so strange – the cars, the roads, the towns,” said Gonzalo Hermoso.

The exchange student program had many things lined up for the students to do. They got to take a trip to Washington D.C. and New York. They also got to do basic things like go to a football game and attend a school dance.

“I love American football,” said Cesara-Sobrino. 

People think that school is the same everywhere but that has proven not to be the case.

“There are more subjects in the United States than in Spain, we don’t have a bell in Spain and the teachers switch classes, not the students,” stated Cesara- Sobrino when asked about cultural differences. 

“Compared to my school in Spain, Liberty is very green. You see grass everywhere. It’s very cool. This school is also quite bigger than in Spain and has many classes and subjects,” said Hermoso.

There seem to be some similarities between the two schools, however.

“We get a break between classes and sometimes people change, depending on the class,” said Cesara-Sobrino.

Although staying in a different country can seem scary, the exchange students were super excited.

“It’s my dream to be here. I’ve seen it in the movies,” said Cesara-Sobrino.

The students have expressed that they were excited to try new foods and restaurants and see new companies.

“Everything is different here,” said Cesara-Sobrino.

“What I love about the United States is the films, the cars, and the fact that everywhere you go you find American culture,” stated Hermoso.

Unfortunately, after the 16 days Cesara-Sobrino and Hermoso returned home instead of spending more time at LHS.

“I hope to leave here with new experiences and to have met interesting and different people. I also hope to bond with my friends that I came here with,” said Cesara- Sobrino.