The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Foreign exchange student program

Christophe Guiard
Libertyville students spend a day at the beach in France with their foreign exchange students.

Some students at Libertyville High School took a summer trip they’ll never forget, living with students from France, while others hosted students from Spain.

Libertyville High School students of all ages have been fortunate enough to travel on the foreign exchange program, along with hosting a student from a foreign country. Students meet many new people throughout the trip and build relationships that will last the rest of their lives.  When a student travels to a country, or gets to know a person from that country, it helps them better understand its cultures and traditions, which creates a new appreciation for that country.

Christophe and Laura Guiard are French foreign language teachers at Libertyville High School. For the past several years, the Guiards have run the foreign exchange program. Every year they accept approximately 24 students for the summer exchange trip.

Students are required to be either a freshman, sophomore, or junior in order to partake in the program. All levels of French students are welcome to attend, but the more advanced levels are given priority.

Students who are selected are also required to fill out a form on their likes and the activities they participate in. The program will then match a Libertyville student to a student from France.

“When the matching of the students is done well, you have a chance to get a relationship that can last your entire life,” said Mr. Guiard.

The foreign exchange trip lasts for five weeks. The students spend two weeks in Anger, one week in Paris, and two weeks in Libertyville when their French foreign exchange student comes to America. Students get to stay in their foreign exchange student’s home, and get to discover what life is like for them.

“It opened my eyes to different cultures,” said Joey Pucino, a  junior who went on the trip this past summer.

The group participates in many tourist activities throughout the trip, including visiting castles, museums, and beaches.  They get the full French teenager experience.

Students benefit from this trip in many ways. Not only do students benefit culturally, but they build relationships that will last forever. The group creates a very tight bond together, and at the end of the trip, no one wants to leave.

“When the trip ends in October, you always need about thirty minutes extra to say goodbye, and about two boxes of Kleenex,” said Mr. Guiard.

Spanish Foreign Exchange Students in America.
Spanish foreign exchange students in America. Photo taken by Debra Werner.

Another foreign language exchange program is run by the Share America Organization. This program brings students from Spain and other places around the world to America. All ages are allowed to participate and host a foreign exchange student. They live with their American family for approximately three to five weeks.

As with the other program, each foreign exchange student gets matched with an American student. They get to go to school with the American student, attend classes, go to activities, and learn about American culture while at the same time, the American student is learning about the foreign exchange student’s culture.

In September, many students from Spain came to visit America. They stayed in various Chicagoland locations, including Libertyville and Vernon Hills.

Macey Neubauer, a sophomore who hosted a foreign exchange said, “My foreign exchange student was very good at speaking English, and we both learned a lot about each other’s countries.”

Both students benefit from this program; the foreign exchange students get to visit a country that is totally different than theirs.

“In Spain, you must be 18 to drive, the education is very different, and your high school has many more freedoms,” said foreign exchange student Ignacio Sanchez, who stayed with Neubauer.

When the Spanish students are here, the group partakes in many fun activities, such as going to amusement parks, football games, and traveling to downtown Chicago.

If you want to get involved with the French foreign exchange program, you can contact Mr. or Mrs. Guiard. If you are interested in hosting a Spanish student with Share America, you can visit their website at

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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Foreign exchange student program