Titan Tattler: Titans studying abroad

Published 12:07 am Thursday, July 13, 2023

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By Claire Reinthaler

For the Clemmons Courier

While many students are enjoying their summer break by going to the beach or taking advantage of the free time to work more, some students are taking a different approach to summer.

Incoming senior Amber Summers is one of two students from West Forsyth and only six students overall to choose to participate in a month-long exchange program with Northern Hills Bilingual School in Mar del Plata, Argentina, this summer.

“(I decided to go because) the founders of the program came into my classroom at the beginning of the year, and I saw these kids laughing and having so much fun,” Summer said. “I wanted to be like them and find a lifelong friend who I could be close with.”

Summers and the rest of the American students left for Argentina on June 18 and will return Friday. Over the course of the trip, they’ve done everything from learning to tango to helping donate for a speaker to another school that had been robbed to going on city tours to going surfing.

“Five of us Americans did a polar plunge into the ocean,” Summers said. “It’s winter (in Argentina), so it was so cold. The locals who were fishing just stared at us in shock and confusion. I went really numb in my legs, but it was super fun, and I would do it all over again.”

Out of all the experiences the group had, Summers took away one major lesson from her time in Argentina.

“It’s very important to understand people in other countries,” Summer said. “Many Americans are ignorant about how life in these countries truly is, so it’s great to try and live in them and experience them (for yourself).”

She also valued how welcoming everyone in Argentina was and how friendly everyone was overall.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” Summers said. “I never had the best family growing up, so to see how my two Argentine parents absolutely love each other and all their kids and even accepting me so fast has almost made me cry a few times. People are just so friendly and nice.”

Although she acknowledges that exchange programs may not be for everyone, Summers is extremely grateful for the experience.

“Studying abroad is probably one of the best things to ever happen to me,” Summers said. “I would highly recommend it as long as you can stay respectful to the people and the county.”

While this program will unfortunately no longer be exchanging with public schools after this trip, make sure to ask about other opportunities like this at West if it’s something you’re interested in.

Claire Reinthaler is this year’s Titan Tattler.