International Club Gets IEW Treat
Spanish exchange student presents her culture in American high school class

Blanca found just the right audience in NY

Here in the U.S., not many people know about my country, Spain. Thankfully, my high school has an international club, so when I reached out to them to see if they would like to attend a presentation on Spain, they were thrilled!

When the day came, I started by introducing myself and what I was doing there. How I had only been in the U.S. for two months and am living with an American family. (This normally surprises people a lot.) After that short introduction, I thought playing a little contest game about Spain would be fun, and this way we would get to discuss the basic facts about Spain. It turned out to be a really good idea. It got people’s attention and they were quick to ask questions if something seemed interesting.

After the contest finished, I did a slideshow presentation. I started going through the basics, then how the country is nowadays. Then, I went to the part that the internet can’t tell you: the particular differences between one culture and another.

The people in this club were very interested in political issues and history, so I was able to have some good discussions on topics such as religion and different ethnicities’ history. Another girl, also with an international background (Romanian), gave us new insights on an issue I was commenting on.

I saw some mouths hanging open when I told them the annual price of college there.

After this part of the presentation, I moved on to how my life and future as a student are in Spain. I saw some mouths hanging open when I told them the annual price of college there. I also tried to uncover some of the myths or stereotypes around Spanish culture, and I told some funny stories.

Time passed so quickly that when the session ended I felt like we could have continued for a while. I had a lot of fun, and it is always nice to be the source of curiosity and answers for a group of people. Overall, I think this culture-sharing experience was a very good idea that my American classmates and I will remember.

—Blanca (Spain), hosted by the Crozier family (NY)