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Cultural Exchange: Peru to DA
Sarah Jane O'Connor '18 Staff Writer
February 3, 2016

This winter, students do not need to travel far to gain a new international perspective. Arianna Sanchez, a junior from Lima, Peru, recently arrived at the Deerfield campus for a month-long exchange facilitated by the Round Square program.

Maya Rajan
Maya Rajan

Ms. Anna Steim, English Teacher and member of the Global Studies Committee, explained, “Many of the schools with which Deerfield has an exchange relationship are Round Square schools: King’s Academy in Jordan, Schule Schloss Salem in Germany, the Doon School in India, and Markham College in Peru.” She describes Round Square as “a network of schools from around the world that share a belief in six IDEALS: Internationalism,lDemocracy, Environmentalism,XXAdventure, Leadership, and Service.”

Sanchez was inspired to come to Deerfield after hosting two exchange students from the U.S. and U.K. and meeting two Deerfield students who worked on service projects sponsored by her school, Markham College.

She is excited to be in the U.S., where she wants to attend college, and she even gave up a month of her summer for the frigid Deerfield winter. Sanchez isn’t hesitant to admit that “the weather is cold compared to Peru.”

Despite the cold air outside, Sanchez has enjoyed her first two weeks at DA. Compared to her past educational experiences, she said, “Here, you feel a bigger sense of community because you live with these people.” Sanchez has enjoyed getting to know her peers, “especially the girls on the hall,” and also loves sit-down meals when she has the opportunity to interact with students from different grade levels.

Outside of classes, Sanchez participates in community service for her co-curricular activity. She explained that her school in Peru placed a strong emphasis on service. “We go to poor areas in Peru,” she said, “where we build houses for [citizens] and teach children basic English and Spanish.”

Sanchez was shocked to learn that this part of Massachusetts is “one of the poorest areas” in the state.  Here in the U.S., “the schools have computers and smart boards,” she said. “But in Peru, we had to build the school. It had one classroom and we had to build [it],” she explained.

In addition to service, Sanchez loves music and especially enjoys Mr. Van Eps’s ‘Composition: Songwriting’ class, which she described as “very different and interesting,” since the music classes she has taken previously “were more focused on theory.”

Sanchez recommended that all DA students apply for Round Square. “They shouldn’t be scared of change!” she said.