From Strangers To Friends

Two young girls, Clara Villadangos Sánchez and Ines Charlotte Deloffre González both signed up for a foreign exchange program. These girls both wanted to have the experience of coming to America, and at the time they had no clue that each other existed.

Clara Sánchez is currently staying with her host family in Michigan, which is, her host mom Melanie Briggs, host dad Christopher Briggs, and her two host siblings Alyssa and Connor Briggs. Sánchez’s family in Spain is her mom María Jesús Sánchez, dad Blas Villadangos, and brother Mario Villadangos Sánchez. Sánchez’s parents were the ones who brought up the idea of her becoming a foreign exchange student.

“So my parents were the one that first told me about coming here [to America], they had told me years ago if I wanted to come here one year, [she could go]. At first I wasn’t that sure and then we kept talking about it, and I still don’t know. Then I really wanted to come so they were happy and really wanted me to come [to America],” Sánchez stated.

To become a foreign exchange student there is a long and difficult process filled with lots of paper work and tests.

Reporters asked Sánchez about her process to be able to come to America, “So we had a lot of papers and had to do this test so they can see that we are able to speak English. Our grades had to be good from last year and we had to get lots of vaccinations. And just lots of papers,” Sánchez explained.

IMAGE / Clara Sánchez

Sánchez went on to tell reporters about her flight to America, “The flight was really long, the first flight was like around 8 hours or around something like that. Then I had to wait 6 hours in the airport and then I had to take another flight of 2 hours,” Sánchez explained.

Sánchez continued to express how she was feeling about coming to America for the first time, “When I first came here I was like, oh this is real and everyone is speaking English. While in the airport for 6 hours, everyone kept speaking English and I kept thinking, oh this is interesting.”

Sánchez has been in America during the whole school year, and she went on to tell reporters about her favorite memories, “The sports for sure, then I went to Cedar Point, and I went to Chicago during the winter so the lights were really pretty,” Sánchez explained.

Sánchez came to America on a visa for education, she ended up going to Kearsley High School or others call it KHS for her education. While attending KHS she met Ines Charlotte Deloffre González, other known to her classmates as Charlotte Deloffre. Deloffre is also in America on a visa for education, she is attending KHS as well.

Charlotte Deloffre is currently staying with her host family here in Michigan. Deloffre’s host family is her host mom Andrea McCullough, her host dad Chad McCullough, her host sister Jaylee Oliver and finally her host brother Liam McCullough.

Deloffre’s family in Spain is her mother Victoria Gonzalez, her father Jerome Deloffre, and her sister Martina Deloffre Gonzalez

IMAGE / Charlotte Deloffre

Deloffre was asked a series of questions based around her journey to America by reporters.

Deloffre started with telling reporters what her experience with the application process was like, “It was a lot of papers that I did, like doctors [paper work] and papers of me, just a lot of papers. I took one [test] on a little bit of grammar, listening, and the school situation on how class would be here,” Deloffre explained.

Deloffre went on to explain what her first impression of America was, “That you guys go everywhere in cars, I walk or ride the bus because I live in the city. America was also like how you see in the movies,” Deloffre exclaimed.

Reporters asked Deloffre what she would miss the most about America, “The sport activities at the high school because in Spain that’s something we don’t have. We have sports but not like here, there it’s not through the high school and there’s not as much spirit,” Deloffre stated.

Deloffre was asked who she would miss the most, “Jaylee because I’ve spent all this time living with her!”

Many would think she would miss Sánchez as well because that was one of her new best friends, but these two girls told reporters great news when asked how far they lived from each other.

“We live 30 minutes away [from each other] by car,” Deloffre and Sánchez exclaimed.

These girls went on to explain how they met each other, “We met at a football game, it was the first football game [of the season],” Deloffre and Sánchez stated.

Reporters asked about their first interaction and here is what the girls had to say “It was weird, I didn’t know she was Spanish too, so when I started speaking in Spanish to her it was weird,” Sánchez explained as Deloffre agreed.

These girls have gone on many adventures with each other since they have been in America. Here are a few of their favorites, “Chicago was fun,” Sánchez stated as she got interrupted by Deloffre. “Other than when I got sick” Deloffre chimed in. “And prom,” Deloffre and Sánchez told reporters.

These two girls may not have thousands of memories together but once they go back to Spain they will have a lifetime to build their friendship and make more memories. Since now they know that they are only a 30 minute drive away. They went from strangers to best friends.