Cultural Exchange Abroad: International Student Exchange Sends Four Hundred Americans to Spain

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This year the International Student Exchange is sending several hundred representatives and their families to the historical city of Barcelona, Spain.

For the last thirty years, International Student Exchange has been promoting the ideals of cultural exchange and education, importing nearly three-thousand exchange students a year to study in the United States of America. The main goal of the non-profit organization is to show foreign students and their families abroad that the U.S. is a great place to learn and to live and that despite political disparities and cultural differences, family is family regardless of what side of the world you are on.

But ISE believes that cultural education is not reserved solely for the students who apply to study abroad and that is why each year ISE sends the best and brightest of it's field staff overseas to experience another culture and learn about its traditions. This year International Student Exchange has set it's sights on the historical city of Barcelona, Spain and for their successful efforts several hundred representatives and their families will have the opportunity to tour a country whose citizenry helps make the exchange program possible.

“Its a chance to see the world and show our people what the foreign exchange program is all about," says Managing Director, Paul Sessions. "In this way, not only do our American representatives get a chance to give their families a cultural education, but they get to see where our students come from and why foreign exchange programs are so important to the formation of a global community."

One of the main aspects of the trips abroad are the tours of the cities visited. As they did in Berlin in the winter of 2011, this visit will take ISE's representatives on tours of the important historic landmarks and explain how the city functions from day to day.

"When we were in Berlin, we got to see the remains of the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, all the memorials and architecture. It was really geat. I learned more about the city and German history than I could have reading ten books on Germany. And the people there were incredible. They loved to hear about the U.S. almost as much as I loved hearing about their country," says Gillian Haskins, an Area Representative for ISE. "I cannot wait for Barcelona."

To date, International Student Exchange has taken its representatives and their families to over 20 different countries and plans to continue to give its people an opportunity to explore the world one city at a time. Their hope is that they can help to change the world by broadening the horizons of the people they work with and for and that each trips brings the different nations of the world one step closer together.

International Student Exchange is a nonprofit student exchange organization that has been placing foreign exchange students in the United States for over thirty years. Located in Babylon, NY, it is one of the largest and most dedicated exchange organizations in operation today.

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Tal Stanecky
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