HomeMoorestown NewsMoorestown families to host students from Spain

Moorestown families to host students from Spain

Meeting held for those involved in advance of July exchange

Special to The Sun: Thirteen students visited last year as part of the exchange, which came to fruition through residents Maggie and Dan Ladik in 2019.

Moorestown families will host 11 students from Valencia, Spain, for two weeks in July, an exchange that began last year.

“It’s the perfect time for the families who can host, because a lot of them are already perhaps taking some time during the summer to spend with family and with the kids to do some fun activities,” said resident Maggie Ladik.

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Thirteen students visited last year as part of the Moorestown-Valencia Summer Exchange, which came to fruition through Maggie and her husband Dan in 2019. They were inspired by a colleague who took part in a similar program.

After three years of planning and two years interrupted by the pandemic, Maggie and Dan connected with coordinators Mayte and Emilio Requena to make the exchange happen. 

The students and their host families participated in activities that included river tubing; beach trips; and visits to sites around Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York City. 

Tara Keenan and her family hosted student Estabon, an experience that impacted her children, according to The Sun.

“I feel like for my kids, especially for my oldest child (Sach), I feel like it gave him the opportunity to be in a light he’s never been before, to show somebody from out of the country how he lives,” Keenan noted. “And that elevates all these teenagers.”

Maggie and the new host families had a chance to meet earlier this month in advance of the summer exchange.

“We’re just going to get to know each other and talk about plans for the visit and talk about our experience last year,” Maggie said in advance of the meeting, “and how we will build up on that to organize ourselves for this summer.” 

In addition to trips and other activities, the exchange students will get a tour of Moorestown High School. There will also be plenty of down time.

“Last year’s experience was a blast,” Maggie recalled. “It really exceeded expectations for me and for everybody involved. This year … we’re going to allow more time for the students to have time just with their family rather than spend every day in group activities.”

A favorite memory of Maggie’s from last year was the sight of international and Moorestown students dancing at their farewell party.

“The next day, as we were greeting them farewell and as they were getting on the bus, the hugs, the kisses, the tears … it was really amazing to see how in such a short time, such great bonds were made,” Maggie said.

The Moorestown-Valencia Summer Exchange is special to Maggie because she enjoys seeing international students experience a different culture.

“We don’t see what we are used to,” she observed. “But when you have somebody that is coming to our (country), that’s when you get reminded of things that we do differently. And it’s just interesting to see that.”


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