Paloma Zuleta Casares and Andrea Pereira Bleda, exchange students from Spain who attend Marion High School, are learning about life in Kansas.
Learning English by using the language is something both say is the most important reason they chose to study abroad.
Paloma, who arrived Aug 11, said she signed up for a student exchange program because she wanted to experience school and life in the United States as well as perfect her English.
For Andrea, who arrived Aug. 8, the experience is fulfillment of a lifelong dream. She said she might return to America after she finishes her education in Spain.
“When I was little, it was like a dream to live an American life,” Andrea said. “This is like a dream come true.”
Attending school in Marion is a different experience. In Spain, the girls would attend classes only with other members of their junior class. Here they attend classes with freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Both say they enjoy that because it helps them get to know more people.
English, math, and American History are required classes in the exchange program. Their school credits will transfer to their home schools as long as the girls keep their grades up.
Both girls are on the high school volleyball team and played volleyball in Spain as well.
Paloma said the friendliness and openness of people in Marion has made a great impression.
“There are a lot of advantages and I’m loving it,” Paloma said.
Andrea also said she is impressed with the friendliness of the people she’s met here. She said she loves the beautiful scenery.