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The Argentinians Have Arrived

23+Argentinian+students+arrive+at+Niles+West+as+part+of+a+three+day+U.S.-Argentinian+exchange.
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The Argentinians Have Arrived

23 Argentinian students arrive at Niles West as part of a three day U.S.-Argentinian exchange.

23 Argentinian students arrive at Niles West as part of a three day U.S.-Argentinian exchange.

23 Argentinian students arrive at Niles West as part of a three day U.S.-Argentinian exchange.

23 Argentinian students arrive at Niles West as part of a three day U.S.-Argentinian exchange.

By Divitya Vakil, News Editor

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Niles West has had the opportunity to, once again, host a group of 23 Argentinian students for three days as part of a U.S.-Argentinian exchange. Spanish teacher Luisa Karimighovanloo conducts the program in partnership with Concordia University. This is the one part of the US- Argentinian exchange, where West hosts students. During Spring Break 2019, students taking Spanish will have the opportunity to visit Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In previous years, the exchange students would only visit the school for one to two days. However, the exchange students who were part of the program previously said that they would have liked to spend more time at Niles West. Thus, Karimighovanloo was able to organize the exchange so visiting students would spend three days at West, shadowing a different student each day.

“This [visiting Niles West] is the highlight of their trip,” Karimighovanloo said. “We offer so many courses and our facilities are so big and amazing that they always get shocked. A lot of the facilities we have are what, in some other countries, only some universities will have if they are very private. I have them shadow a different student each day so that they can see the different electives. They are always impressed.”

Many Argentinian students were very impressed with the way students behaved both inside and out of the classroom.

“Everyone is really polite and when the teacher talks, everyone is quiet. Everyone makes you feel really [comfortable]. In Argentina, this doesn’t happen very often. People are always making noise and moving around the classroom,” exchange student Thiago Russo said.

Some Argentinian students thought that the Argentinian school system was more manageable since students choose what they are going to specialize during high school.

“Everything is different. I think our system is easier than this. We only have around four subjects, maybe five per day is so much easier. You [Americans] don’t have any time. It’s really fun to experience something completely different though,” exchange student Tatiana Sabbatini said.

Junior Lexi Lee found many differences between her student’s school life and life at Niles West.

“Everything [is] much smaller [in Argentina]. There are only 500 students and they stay in the same class while the teachers move classrooms,” Lee explained. “They start school at 7:30 and depending on the day school can end anywhere from 3:30-5. They also have five years rather instead of four. Because of the different hemisphere, they start school in March and get out in December.”

Sophomore Daniel Cudzich was surprised at his student’s proficiency in English.

“There was not a language barrier in conversational speech. My student, Tomas, wanted to speak more in English with me than in Spanish. I could easily talk to him and he knew English better than I knew Spanish,” Cudzich said. “However, he didn’t understand the more academic language going on in class. It was clear he was so confused on what was going on in my computer science class.”

Some West students felt that through their school lives may be different, teenagers are somewhat the same around the world.

“Some of the things that I consider normal, he was kind of like ‘what the heck’,” junior Hayden Kipp said. “He was constantly telling me he felt like he was getting lost going in a circle the whole day. I really didn’t expect him to be so similar to me but we have a lot of things in common and our interests are similar.”

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