Last semester, Casimir Magruder ‘21 and Jack Rosenstengel ‘21 hosted two Colombian exchange students at SLUH. The previous summer, the two Jr. Bills spent six weeks in Bucaramanga, Colombia as part of an exchange program with SLUH’s Jesuit partner school, Colegio San Pedro Claver. Here are their stories...
IN THEIR OWN WORDS
"Throughout my experience in Colombia, I was exposed to the country’s language, lifestyle and culture, and made new friends and memories for years to come. I immediately fell in love with the food and landscape of the country. I tried fruits and other foods that I had not known existed prior to coming to Colombia, and I saw mountains and valleys different from what I had experienced in the U.S.
"During our six weeks, I spoke almost entirely in Spanish and began to quickly improve my familiarity with the language. In times of discomfort, when I had to talk to someone new or had to try to describe something I had never explained before, I felt my language skills grow the most. This improvement along with the visits to some of Colombia’s most popular sites, weekend nights with friends, and retreat experiences made this opportunity one that I will always remember.
"Not only did I have the amazing experience of going to Colombia, but I also had the wonderful opportunities of hosting the Colombian student who I lived with for a semester at SLUH. I saw St. Louis’ culture from an outsider’s perspective, and I learned how cool some of the typical things in our life are, like the Gateway Arch, ice hockey, Best Buy and omelettes. I have developed such an appreciation for both Colombian and American culture, the Spanish language and the overall value of immersing oneself in another country. This experience, both studying abroad and hosting, has been one that I will cherish forever, and I could not be more grateful to SLUH for this opportunity."
- JACK ROSENSTENGEL ‘21
"I felt euphoric in the days leading up to our trip, and it didn’t actually hit me that I was away from home when the plane landed in Bucaramanga. A sort of calmness that I do not normally have came over me as soon as we arrived. I met my host family and was embraced by them as a true family member.
"At school I was nervous because I didn't think my Spanish was sufficient, but I quickly made friends with classmates who became some of my best friends. The class 10-B, as well as the entire school, welcomed me. By the end of my time at the school I knew students in all grades and gave them handshakes and hugs whenever I saw them. I also got the chance to play soccer with the school. The school’s fields are about 25 minutes away in the mountains where there is a single grass soccer field with manicured grass surrounded by a pure love of the game. Playing soccer in Colombia was perhaps one of my favorite moments ever. Since childhood I have felt that everybody was connected, but I truly experienced it while playing soccer. We were able to communicate through soccer, through my broken Spanish and everybody else’s English, which was very impressive. By playing the game we were able to share in the love of the game.
"I became best friends with the student who I stayed with in Colombia. Last semester my family hosted him while he attended SLUH. We had many good times, like playing jokes on my family members as they did not understand Spanish, yet they are not over. We are still brothers, and I have nothing but love for all of my family in Bucaramanga, and I can't wait to see them again."
- CASIMIR MAGRUDER ‘21
(pictured on right in photo)
Global Education Opportunities Abound
A globally conscious education is vital to succeed in a world distinguished by interdependence, diversity and rapid change. Moreover, it provides the knowledge and understanding of culture, language, geography and global perspectives needed to carry out our mission of building Christ's kingdom.
SLUH embraces a global education model that illuminates the vision of St. Ignatius, who saw the world as a place where Christ loved and served. Recognizing the importance of global education, SLUH offers many opportunities for students:
- Language immersion programs in Chile, China, Colombia, France, Russia and Taiwan
- Service immersion programs in Guatemala, Honduras, Russia, Taiwan and Mexico
- Educational travel programs, including D-Day Tour (Europe), Ignatian Pilgrimage I and II (Europe) and Latin (Greece and Italy)
In 2018, as a result of SLUH's strategic vision and Go Forth campaign, Rob Chura was named the school's first Director of Global Education.
Learn more about SLUH’s comprehensive global education program at: www.sluh.org/globaleducation