Three exchange programs visit

33 Argentinian, German and French students experience Lab

Abigail Slimmon, Midway Reporter

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In the past month, the U-High community welcomed 33 students from three countries. Seventeen students visited from Argentina, 12 from Germany and four from France all visited through exchange programs.

The German students only visited from Oct. 19-29, which was a much shorter stay than the Argentinean and French students. The U-High German department has partnered with the same school since the early ’80s, but starting this summer, the program will take place at a new partner school.

“Our partner school is no longer able to fulfill the German American Partnership Program requirement of being in school for 10 days and being here for three weeks,” Annette Steinbarth, head of the German Exchange, said. “So unfortunately we had to find a new school for the 2018 exchange.

The French students arrived Oct. 22 and the last group of students will depart Nov. 19. Only four French students visited because they visited through the Eliade Exchange Program for juniors arranged by U-High French teacher Catherine Collet-Jarard. This program is more selective than the regular French exchange program, which will occur in February 2018.

Naina Jolly and Lauren Williams hosted this month and will travel to France in March and April as Eliade Scholars. They will experience a full immersion, which is exactly what the French students did in Chicago over the past month.

The visiting French students did not travel with teachers, meaning there was no organized excursions by the schools and complete independence for the students.

All French students have the opportunity to apply for the Eliade Scholarship Program at the end of their sophomore year. They must fill out an application form, answer essay questions and get two recommendation letters from teachers. The final two recipients of the scholarship are chosen by Ms. Collet, another language teacher and an administrator.

Tara Elliott, a junior at Lycée Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, U-High’s partner school in France, visited Chicago through the Eliade Scholarship Program.

“I love it in Chicago. It’s so fun and everyone is so nice,” Tara said. “It’s very different from France because everything is so big. In school it’s also very different because in class you can eat, drink, use your phone, leave and come back whenever you want, but in France you can’t do any of these things. Also, it almost seems that students here are friends with some of their teachers, but it’s not like that in France. I’ve been downtown and I love it. It’s so impressive and it’s so cool. I went to the Willis Tower and it was beautiful.”

The Argentinian students visited Chicago Oct. 2-Nov. 4. Each of the 15 U-High students who traveled to Argentina in June had their Argentinian host siblings stay with them in Chicago.

When the Argentinian exchange students visited, they spent some days in class with their host and some days out exploring Chicago.

Zoe Rebuffo, a Junior at Lenguas Vivas, U-High’s partner school in Argentina, said that although this wasn’t her first visit to the United States, it was just as amazing as every other time and she hopes to come back to Chicago again soon.

“Oh my god, I had the best time ever. I wish I could stay longer than two weeks, but I got to know so much in this short time,” Zoe said. “My favorite thing during this trip was we went to the architectural river cruise, I had the opportunity to see the essence of Chicago and its famous architecture. It was gorgeous.”