Palatine High School around the world: Spain and Ecuador

The Royal Palace, Madrid among a hub of activity.

Laura Plata, Features Editor

From the Germans that roam our halls in the fall to the French students that come visit in the spring, Palatine High School is the epicenter of cultural exchanges that span across the globe. For many students, the idea of visiting a foreign country is both thrilling and a bit daunting. If you speak to anyone who’s participated in one of our foreign exchanges, you’ll find that they truly enjoyed their time spent abroad. If you’re like most people and don’t know one of these experts yourself, check out the following interviews below and see for yourself what students have to say about PHS’ most recent trip to Spain this past summer.

Interview with senior Mary Grace Grane

Q. What did you enjoy most about being in Spain?

A. I enjoyed the sight seeing a lot, but the food comes in a close second.

Q. Tell me about the food then! What culinary delights does Spain have to offer?

A. Well I had a lot of traditional food, like bull tail and tortilla espanolas. My host mother also made these absolutely delicious potato omelettes.

Q. Talk about your host family a bit. Did your host family cook for you often or did you eat out more?

A. We were only with the family for four days, but they cooked dinner for us on days we were there.

Q. I’m told you knew almost no Spanish. What was it like communicating with your family with knowing the language very well?

A. While I didn’t know a lot of Spanish, the family was really nice and we were still able to    communicate. The father knew some English and the daughter was fluent. The fun part was just trying.

Q. Any fun or interesting stories to share from your time there?

A. Well, speaking about food, my host mother had this idea that Americans ate really large portions so at dinner time she would always immediately serve me seconds. The food was delicious, but I was full after the first plate!

with senior Luke Porrata

Q. What would you like to share about your time in Spain?

A. I really liked the places we visited; each site was really unique. The people were super friendly, giving, and caring.

Q. How were interactions with your host family and others who you went on the trip with?

A. I met a lot of new people from other school that I still keep in touch with. I felt like I really got to know my host family. I even added the son I stayed with on Facebook and we still keep in touch.

Q.  Any last words about the trip?

A. It’s my favorite trip that I’ve ever been on. Going abroad is just a really good way to experience a whole different culture and a new way of life.

If you’re interested in participating in one of these cultural exchanges, the World Language department is hosting another trip to Ecuador and Panama this summer. An informational meeting will take place at Schaumburg High School on Thursday, October 9 at 7 pm. If you have any questions, contact Ms. Calvo at [email protected].