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Spanish Intercambino brings students together practicing English

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International and Spanish speaking students meet at Mochas and Javas for the second Intercambio: Spanish Language Mixer of the semester.
Photo by Tyler Jackson

Native Spanish-speaking students at Texas State were given an opportunity to share their culture.

The second Intercambio Spanish Language Mixer was held at the Mochas & Javas coffee shop Nov. 10 by the Modern Languages department and the International Office. The event was coordinated by Spanish lecturers, Dr. Beth Bernstein and Dr. Susana Villanueva-Eguia-Lis.

“Spanish is spoken so widely, that we felt the need to provide an outlet for our language learners and international students,” Bernstein said.

Introducing the event through language courses, verbally, and by fliers has brought in a bigger crowd than expected. Approximately 25 students attended to enjoy the company of those who appreciate the Spanish language.

Various conversations were held in both Spanish and English. Bernstein and Villanueva-Eguia-Lis interacted with all students to make sure everyone was comfortable. Each meeting allows international students to be able to communicate in their native language while improving their English skills.

Solange Troncozo , psychology junior, is an exchange student from Ecuador. She has spoken English since elementary school and learned French when she lived in Belgium. Troncozo was immediately intrigued when she saw the fliers about the Intercambio and thought it is a good way to make connections with other students from different backgrounds.

“I really like to get to know new cultures, people and languages; learning any language opens you to so many opportunities and a whole new life,” Troncozo said.

Not all students who attended are fluent in or even speak Spanish at all, but their appreciation for different cultures has influenced and led them to be apart of this group.

Arianna Martinez , junior, was raised in a Spanish-speaking household. When she learned English in school, her native language began to fade. Martinez now takes classes at Texas State and attends events, such as Intercambio, to restore her Spanish.

“My mom was disappointed that I wasn’t able to talk to my grandparents, aunts and uncles in Spanish,” Martinez said.

Most students who attended Intercambio agreed that being able to speak a second language, such as Spanish, is beneficial to one’s life.

Both coordinators of the event said they enjoyed Mochas & Javas as the venue because of its proximity to campus. They provide food such as pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and peanut butter cookies, for international students.

While Intercambio is a new event, it is showing room for growth. The coordinators hoped the event will eventually grow into a student organization.

The last Intercambio of the fall semester will take place next month, and all language enthusiasts are encouraged to attend.

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