Off to Spain
Hollis-Brookline Rotary sends Timberlane Regional student to Spain
PLAISTOW — While other juniors were getting ready to head back to Timberlane Regional High School this fall, Meg Miller was packing her bags for Seville, Spain.
Because the district does not have a formal student exchange program, Miller’s trip is being sponsored by the Hollis-Brookline Rotary Club. However, Miller said she is hoping her trip will help pave the way for the district to establish an exchange program in the future.
For Miller, the year abroad is something she has been considering for some time.
“Two years ago I had the idea that instead of going abroad in college, it might be possible in high school,” she said.
Miller said studying abroad was not an option through the school district or the local Rotary Club.
“I spent about a year researching and persuading the (Hollis-Brookline) Rotary Club to give me an interview with them,” Miller said. Eventually, the club accepted Miller as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.“This is one of the only exchange programs that involves kids my age and gives us an opportunity,” Miller said.
Miller left for Spain on Saturday and begins classes at the IES Fernando de Herrera school on Monday, Sept. 16.
“I’ll be taking classes with other students and will be completely immersed in Spanish,” she said. “The city has 1.5 million people, so it’s obviously very different from our towns. That’s part of the idea, to go someplace completely different.”
The school is named after a 15th century poet from Seville and was built about 60 years ago.
“That’s very new by European standards,” said Miller.
The school year in Seville is about the same length as the school year in New Hampshire, and Miller said she will be returning home next summer.
Miller said she hopes her experience helps pave the way for more students from Timberlane to take part in exchange programs.
“It doesn’t just have an effect on us as students, it also has an effect on the community, the families and the schools,” she said.
Superintendent Earl Metzler said he fully supports Miller’s year abroad and has worked in other districts that have student exchange programs.
“We are very proud of you,” he told Miller. “You will bring so much back to us.”
Miller’s trip could help pave the way for the district and the School Board to consider hosting exchange students in the future, Metzler firstname.lastname@example.org