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The student news site of de Toledo High School

The Prowler

The student news site of de Toledo High School

The Prowler

de Toledo to host exchange students from Uruguay and Budapest

Ella Schwartz
A map marks The United States, Hungary and Uruguay. This winter, 31 exchange students from Hungary and Uruguay are to join the de Toledo community for three weeks.

After a five year hiatus, the Uruguay exchange program is back in full swing. Not only will there be students from Uruguay on campus this winter, but the de Toledo community will be joined by students from Budapest as well. 

The 31 exchange students are set to join the de Toledo community this January and February. 15 students from Uruguay will be in our community from Jan. 21 – Feb. 1 and 16 students from Hungary will be here from Jan. 28 – Feb. 7. 

These 16-17 year olds will live in the homes of de Toledo students for three weeks. After their visit to the United States, the host students will join their buddies in their home country to study abroad in March. 

This year, de Toledo partnered with Escuela Integral in Budapest and Lauder Javne Jewish Community School in Hungary. Associate Director, Global Education Rafael Monkarsh said he is excited for the students to experience such a tightly knit Jewish community. 

“The ethos behind global education is the idea that through travel and learning about other people, communities, ways of life – you learn more about yourself,” Monkarsh said. “Someone may learn these things because they see things that are either the same or different from their own communities.”

The Jewish population of Budapest and Uruguay are 130,000 and 25,000, respectively, dwarfed by the 6.3 millions Jews living in the U.S. 

“America has been referred to as the promised land for Jews […],” Monkarsh said. “No one is calling Uruguay or Budapest the promised land, […] these are some complexities to know about these teenagers and where they live.”

The 31 students will engage in a range of classes at school as well as other outside-of-school activities, including trips to Hollywood, Universal Studios and other famous Los Angeles sights. 

Leah Berger (‘24) is hosting a student from Budapest. Berger said she is ready to show her exchange student her favorite restaurants and stores around Los Angeles and introduce her to some iconic Los Angeles landmarks. 

“I want to take her shopping on Melrose,” Berger said. “I want to show her CPK, Din Tai Fung and In-N-Out too.” 

Berger said she is not only excited about showing her exchange student around Los Angeles, but also being able to explore Hungary when she visits later in the year. 

“I am really excited to go to Budapest and see what life is like through my buddy’s eyes,” Berger said. “I can’t wait to meet and get to know her and learn more about her culture and life.”

Alongside learning about Los Angeles, each exchange student will be attending a full schedule of classes and collaborating with de Toldeo peers. The one class all exchange students will be taking together is speech and debate, where they will share and learn about different students’ perspectives. 

Liam Radd (‘26) is currently taking speech and debate and has been in the course for one year. He said his favorite thing about the class is being able to share his ideas and also learn from other students. 

“I am excited to have the exchange students in our class because we will have new topics to learn about and perspectives to hear,” Radd said. “I want to learn about how they deal with antisemitism across the world and different facts about their communities and being a Jewish teen.”

With the exchange students arriving this week, the de Toledo program participants are ready to welcome their new friends with open arms.

“I’m excited to take me exchange student everywhere, with me and my friends,” Berger said. “I can’t wait to meet her.”

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About the Contributor
Ella Schwartz
Ella Schwartz, Managing Editor
Ella Schwartz is a junior at de Toledo and it is her first year writing for The Prowler. She likes hanging out with her friends, writing and traveling.

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  • S

    Steve GJan 19, 2024 at 9:24 pm The Prowler Pick

    Cool story Ella!

  • N

    Noah AlmanyJan 18, 2024 at 7:38 pm

    Amazing Article!