A College Preparatory Private School with Two Campuses in Suffolk, VA. Pre-Kindergarten – Grade 12.

NSA Families Host Students From Spain For 2022-2023 School Year

NSA students from the Pursue Languages program arrive in the U.S.

Seven Upper School students from Spain are studying at NSA this year through a cultural immersion program called Pursue Languages.

The agency, which is based in Spain, organizes long and short-term exchange programs and excursions. NSA first got involved with Pursue Languages in 2019, when Saints families hosted 12 students from a school in Madrid for two weeks. The international students attended classes and school events and even got to take a trip to Washington, D.C. At the end of the two weeks, the international students prepared a PowerPoint about their experiences and presented a Spanish lesson to Lower School classes.

While the pandemic put a pause on many programs like this, NSA is happy to once again reopen its doors to new international students.

Pursue Languages students

"Programs like Pursue Languages help increase compassion and understanding of a different culture," said Upper School Spanish teacher and exchange program coordinator Martha Maurno. "They also help Spanish students strengthen their English and American students strengthen their Spanish."

Hiram Legrand is one of the NSA parents hosting two international students.

"Both students are learning a great deal about us and America, and we are learning a great deal about them and Spain," said Mr. Legrand. "The most surprising thing so far is the culinary aspect. We have had interesting conversations and experiences with food, particularly about what to eat and how it is eaten."

Pursue Languages students Tomy and Daniel with Legrand family

Mary Hensley is also hosting a Pursue Languages student.

"Our student has been great," said Mrs. Hensley. "He fits into our family very well, and he has inspired us to get out and do more things so that we can show him as much about the U.S. as possible."

Pursue Languages student Jaime with the Hensley family
Pursue Languages student Jaime with his host family

Mrs. Maurno is hoping all NSA students, American and international alike, walk away at the end of the year with an appreciation and love for those from different walks of life.

"Students will see there is a big world with different cultures, languages and faiths that exist outside their own community," said Mrs. Maurno. "They will learn to get along with people from other cultures and develop an understanding and appreciation that would be difficult to achieve with just learning from a textbook."

This type of program wouldn't be possible without the bravery of international students and the generosity of host families.

"If you have the space, please host and sponsor," said Mr. Legrand. "This is a very unique opportunity to help a child who is very passionate about learning not just from the educational aspect, but from a humanities aspect as well."



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