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Exchange program eyes trip to Peru

Trip would add another international destination for students aiming to study abroad.

The program sends students to Spain, Panama, and Australia, but a trip to Peru is in the works.

“The most recent exchange was in January, two students went to Alfonso Doce in Spain,” Global Exchange Program Director Ms. Teresa Lohse said.

Freshman Jack Guardiola and sophomore Buck Walsh departed on January 3 and stayed in Spain for three weeks.

Guardiola and Walsh experienced a cultural exchange, where they attended classes but did not have to worry about grades. They also traveled on excursions to see popular points of interest in and around Madrid.

“That was one of the first ones, along with Panama, eight years ago,” Lohse said. “The newest exchange that we are currently pursuing might begin as early as this summer, and that is an exchange to Chiclayo, Peru.”

Lohse recently met with Señor Lascano, the headmaster of Colegio San Agustín, a school in Chiclayo. Lohse said likely to be the newest addition to Malvern’s collection of global exchange opportunities.

“I met [Sr. Lascano] at an Augustinian Values Institute for teachers (AVI) in Oklahoma that was held in October and he was very interested in the idea of creating an exchange between Malvern and the school in Chiclayo,” she said.

There is a lot of effort put into making sure the schools being partnered with are the right schools, Lohse said.

For example, while it is not completely necessary, Lohse said she tries to find schools with a similar ethos as Malvern because it makes it a easier transition for the students traveling.
“In the beginning, [finding an Augustinian school] was the main criteria,” she said. “There was comfort in the idea of going to another Augustinian school, similar to the environment and the ethos of Malvern. It’s not a deal-breaker if a school is not Augustinian, but it helps.”

For exchanges in Pozuelo de Alarcon, Spain and Chiclayo, Peru, the linguistic benefits of traveling abroad are greatly appreciated from both the Global Exchange Program and the Foreign Language Program.

Malvern currently has one English-speaking exchange in Sydney, Australia.

“I have had other people reach out to me from other schools in other countries [that speak english] and I am definitely not closing the door on them.” Lohse said.

Jimmy Faunce ’16 went on a Global Exchange trip to Panama the summer going into his junior year, and said the experience was very positive for him.

“It really sparked in me a love for Spanish,” he said. “It made me really want to learn how to speak it.”

Faunce said it also showed him the difference between life in the United States and other parts of the world.

“It really made me feel lucky to be in the US,” he said. “There were so many things that were different in Panama City that opened my eyes.”

A pending exchange that has been in discussion over the past few years that would also complement the Foreign Language Program is one to China.

Some students from the Western Institute School of Shanghai (WISS) have already traveled to Malvern Prep and are currently studying here for a full year.

Lohse said the reason why Malvern has not gone with a full exchange to Shanghai is because students would participate in an academic exchange which is different from a cultural exchange.

“If students are willing to take that leap of faith, there are so many benefits. It will open their minds and their worlds up to other cultures and other possibilities that they couldn’t have envisioned prior to traveling,” Lohse said. “I will do what I can in any way possible to encourage Malvern students to travel and to take that leap of faith, to experience what other countries and cultures have to offer.”

About John McClatchy

Jack McClatchy started writing for the paper his freshman year, and has previously served as the News Editor during the 2015-2016 school year before becoming the first PR Director for the 2016-2017 school year. He is the President of the World Affairs Club, and is involved in the Academic Competition, Diversity Awareness, Speech and Debate, and Mock Trial clubs. He lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania along with his brother Luke (A pretty cool dude).

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