The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


The Student News Site of Xavier College Preparatory


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Xavier hosts Peru Exchange Program

On February 9, the Laterbourn family gave a heartfelt goodbye to their two exchange students as they left for Lima, Peru. For 10 days, Xavier showed them the daily life of a high schooler in America. (Photo courtesy of Alexandra Lopez Jimenez)

From January 29 to February 9 Xavier College Preparatory hosted exchange students from Colegio La Inmaculada. These students came to Arizona from Lima, Peru to experience American culture and to build relationships with Xavier students. Families within the Xavier community hosted the foreign exchange students to allow them to gain the experience of living with U.S. families and learning the cultural differences. 

This is the first time Xavier has hosted the exchange program. Alexandra Lopez Jimenez, moderator of the exchange program and Spanish teacher at Xavier, worked closely with the supervisor of Colegio La Inmaculada, a co-ed school, and was invited to participate in the home exchange.  “The students wanted to experience the American education system by shadowing their hosts,” Lopez Jimenez said.  

Six female students and one chaperone came to experience Xavier and the American high school lifestyle. “They are following female students throughout Xavier.  They’re also doing other presentations in Spanish classes,” Lopez Jimenez said.   

The Xavier families who volunteered to host for the exchange program created an itinerary for students to follow.  The Peruvian students shadowed Xavier students’ classes throughout the day.  Outside of school, students went to Sedona, shopped and tried new foods.  

One of the many highlights of touring Arizona was seeing Sedona. The host families went for a day-trip showing them historic sights as well as hiking, showing the gorgeous views of the mountains and city.  

“We all got together as a group and did karaoke. It really helped us all bond and become close,” said Ella Madson ‘24, one of the host sisters.  

“It’s great to show someone from another country our daily lives, our sisterhood and our school’s culture,” Madson said. 

The Peru exchange students were also able to experience the day-in-the-life of a highschooler in America.  The visiting girls enjoyed the variety of classes Xavier offers. They went to Xavier’s ceramics room to build and create mugs to take home. Creating a keep-sake during school was distinctive to them since Colegio La Inmaculada doesn’t offer fine art classes.  

“Seeing the ceramics class was really fun since there are no similar activities at our school.  I love seeing all the artwork and projects other students made,” said Luna Hiya Miyashiro, one of the foreign exchange students.  

A major cultural difference was in education.  In Peru, there was one classroom with the same students.  Each period they had one teacher who taught all the subjects.  Students at Colegio La Inmaculada are only offered one subject of core classes, rather than having options.   

After school, they tried new foods personalized to Arizona and shopped. “I loved taking them to Fashion Square since they don’t have the same stores here,” Madson said.  

“All of the Xavier girls made us feel comfortable.  They all invited us to sit with them,” Miyashiro said.  

With the new-found bond of sisterhood Xavier hosts have created with their foreign exchange students, Xavier students will be able to travel to Lima to see them from June 29 to July 11. 

Xavier girls will live with the girls they hosted and attend school with them.  Along with seeing Lima, they will be traveling to Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Huacachina Oasis. 

“The girls here have made us feel so welcome.  I think because of our hosts, Xavier has left a great impression on us and our school,” Miyashiro added.

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