After nearly a two-year hiatus, the Community Service Department and Foreign Language department will once again offer the Intercambio exchange, a five-week cultural, service and language immersion program for Loyola students in Argentina and Uruguay during the summer of 2016.
Community Service Director Mr. Tom Zeko said, “All students will spend time in both cities. They will also partake in a weeklong camp divided among 25 service sites in the rural communities of Uruguay along with 400 other students from Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and the U.S.”
Mr. Zeko said, “The exchange students will be arriving just after the Christmas break period during the week of finals and will stay for nearly a month with Loyola host families.”
The trip is not only pleasure and sightseeing for the participating students. A large part of the trip is meant to be both educational and service-based for the participants, according to senior Thomas Atlee, a participant in the 2014 Intercambio program.
“This is one of the most valuable experiences of the trip. Students get so much out of it including a life-changing experience in another culture, friends for life, language skills, and self confidence,” Mr. Zeko said.
The Intercambio is one of the many ways through which Loyola and the Jesuit community foster an understanding between culturally different peoples and enforces the Grad-at-Grad principles through hands-on, real-life moments.
Fine arts teacher Mrs. Cristina Saggese said, “The Intercambio is a wonderful opportunity for students and teacher-chaperones alike to have an educational adventure. Living with South American families, making friends in another country, hosting students, seeing how the Jesuit charisma extends globally, learning Spanish in a natural way, and pushing your limits in the service part of the trip are all exceptional experiences.”