Lara Cadarso’s Virtual Exchange


My name is Lara Cadarso. I study at San Silvestre School in Lima, Peru. My exchange time at Athenian has been amazing, and I believe that I will carry it on with me.

For me, the best part of the Athenian exchange was making new friends and attending lessons I didn’t have back at my school. For example, I took Speech and Debate, which was very interesting as I got to learn about all the different types of debate and how they are performed. US History was very fun as in my school they teach me a different kind. The students and teachers created a very welcoming environment for us, which made me feel accepted from the beginning. Although this virtual exchange thing is new and doing it in person would have been better, I believe doing it was still a great experience.

My exchange buddy, Phoebe, was very kind. Even though I had another host at first, I had a great time with her. She was very welcoming and nice from the beginning. We shared a lot of things in common and connected via zoom. One of my highlights was when we met each other’s families as it was very fun to chat with them. I also really liked learning more about her country, as she did of mine.

The most challenging part of the exchange was probably the time difference as some of my classes were somewhat late. The time difference between San Francisco and Peru is 3 hours. However, I still attended them, and tried my best to enjoy them without minding the time.

My school and Athenian are quite different. One of the main differences is that at my school we call the teachers “Mr” or “Mrs” and at Athenian they are called by their first names. I found this weird at first, but now I’m more used to the idea. Another big difference is the clubs. In my school, they are after our whole school day ends, while at Athenian they are part of the school schedule. The variety of clubs at Athenian is also much wider than at my school. I found this really exciting, as I could enroll in a club that matched my personal interests.

In conclusion, this exchange helped me step out of my comfort zone, make long lasting memories, and build friendships that will last a lifetime.

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