These past two weeks the Spanish flag hung through the BHS halls, representing the visit of the Spanish exchange students. On September 11th, 30 Spanish students came to BHS all the way from Valladolid, Spain. After a long flight across the Atlantic, these 30 students were paired with 30 Bedford students and got to experience the US from a BHS student’s perspective. For many, this trip was their first time to America and was filled with unforgettable experiences.
Throughout their time in Bedford, the Spanish students got to come and observe the classes a total of five times. The Spanish students were shocked at how different school is in America. In Spain there is “no drinking or eating allowed in class, you must sit still and do the work” explains one student. The collective consensus was that BHS is much more laid back than in Spain.
The Spaniards were fascinated at how our school day works. There are more breaks and “more time to talk with friends and relax.” Although they did think the classes were relatively boring, they were amazed at the differences and found the routine of our school day to be interesting. Many of the BHS students were surprised that our daily routine was actually intriguing to others. It makes a student have to realize how much we take for granted during these ‘boring’ days at school because to others, our school is new and exciting.
Along with going to school, all of the Spanish students got to attend BHS sporting events. Many of them saw soccer, volleyball, football, field hockey, and even cross country. The Spanish students were amazed at how serious we take our sports at BHS, and with the amount of students cheering on their classmates. One exchange student explains: “It’s very different because people care much about all sports, for example in Spain there are two sports popular, soccer and basketball.” The exchange student also mentioned that the “volleyball matches” were the best sport to watch at BHS.
One of the most anticipated locations to visit here in America was, by no surprise, Chipotle. The kids went crazy for this fast food but many were surprised at how the spicy food is in reality. Another popular location was Marshall’s. Most BHS students were so surprised by this because it’s a store that most students are familiar with, but the Spanish students were intrigued by all of the popular brands that Marshall’s carries. The exchange students also got to experience Screamfest at Canobie Lake and even went to a trampoline park. The Spanish students were able to experience the life of a Bedford student, as they joined the BHS students on typical weekend outings.
The Spanish kids were also able to experience some highlights of New England on their visit to America. The students went to Portsmouth, Manchester, Concord, and Boston. Boston, of course, being the favorite trip of the students. They were able to achieve the full New England experience by attending a baseball game at the beloved Fenway Park, and spending the evening walking around Faneuil Hall.
Last Friday the Spaniards said their final goodbyes and took off to their final destination in New York City before they were able to stay for the pep rally and the homecoming dance. They were pretty bummed about that, although they were very excited about NYC, a necessary city to visit when in America. The goodbyes were difficult for all the student hosts and for the Spanish students as well. In two weeks all 60 kids created such strong bonds that many tears were shed, and many life-lasting friendships were created. The students from Valladolid will be missed.