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  • Writer's pictureJack Kane

Spanish students, American school, Italian city

Interviews conducted by Jack Kane - Sports Editor


This week, I had the opportunity to interview three of the JFRC’s Spaniards. I asked them each a series of questions about their experience: how has your transition been from studying in a Spanish school to an American school, what have you liked most about studying at the JFRC and living in Rome, and what are you most looking forward to during your stay in Chicago? Overall, I had a blast getting to sit down and talk individually with Esperanza (Espe), Jaime, and Mercedes (Meme). Being able to speak with them made me realize that even though we are from two different cultures, we share common interests; so, we aren’t that much different after all.





Esperanza Molina Rodriguez-Lepina


Jack: “Espe, it is great to have you join me today for this interview. I have about three questions. My first is: how has your transition been from studying in a Spanish school to an American school?


Espe: “(laughter) There isn’t too big of a difference between studying here (JFRC) and Loyola in Spain; we have studied English already in Spain and we are studying the same material. However, in Spain, we have more students in class than at the JFRC, so it has been interesting knowing and recognizing everyone at campus. We also have more school hours at the JFRC than we do in Spain. We usually tend to start around nine in the morning and finish around one in the afternoon. The homework also is a bit more at the JFRC; we have to write every week (more laughter).”


Jack: “Thank you for your great response! Now to the next question, what are you most looking forward to during your stay in Chicago?”


Espe: “I am really looking forward to meeting more people! I want to meet people from Chicago, improve my English, and explore the city. I believe there is a huge cultural difference between Seville, Rome and Chicago and I’m looking forward to adjusting to a new place (more laughter).”


Jack: “That’s awesome! Now to the final question: what have you liked most about studying at the JFRC and living in Rome?”


Espe: “I have definitely learned how to become more independent! When I study at Loyola in Seville, I live with my parents, who cook my food and clean my clothes. However, now I rely on myself to go to the grocery store and organize my time so that I am successful while living here.”





Jaime Garcia Rodriguez


Jack: “Jaime, thanks for taking your time to do this interview. I want to start off by asking “how has your transition been from studying in a Spanish school to an American school”?


Jaime: “The main difference I’ve noticed is that in Spain, we don’t live in campus, so it has been an adjustment for me to live on and prioritize myself. We also have to learn and study in English, which has been a major transition from being at Loyola in Seville. However, it has allowed my English to get better! Classes here in Rome also promote more class participation than in Spain; they give a full class lecture the whole class. Lastly, I think it’s nice that the American teachers are more open to different points of views. Each person can express themselves in whatever way they feel.”


Jack: “Thanks, Jaime! That was a great response. Now, I want to ask what are you looking forward to most during your stay in Chicago?”


Jaime: “I want to go to Chicago and witness the ‘big campus’ (around 16,000 students) feeling, because here and in Seville, the campuses are really small. I also want to enjoy and walk around the city! I actually lived in the suburbs of Chicago about four years ago, so it will be fun living near and pretty much in the city. (With laughter) I also want to go see some Bulls games, try some American sports like football and hockey, because they aren’t very popular in Spain. Overall, I’m looking forward to the American experience!”


Jack: “Great! Last question: what have you liked most about studying at the JFRC and living in Rome?”


Jaime: “What I like the most is having a small, family and building a community around it. There are always plans to go somewhere in the city, travel, and study with friends. I believe studying at the JFRC was a good introduction to how life will be in Chicago, but just in a smaller scale. I’ve liked all the activities the JFRC has provided for their students: hiking trip on Monte Mario, going on the day tour in Tivoli, and gathering at Il Gesu to pray with my classmates.





Mercedes Rodriguez


Jack: “Hi Meme! Thank you for coming today. I wanted to start by asking how your transition has been from studying in a Spanish school to an American School?


Meme: “I am very lucky to belong to the Loyola community, which shares the same values both in Spain and the U.S., so that makes me feel like I am member of a family here. The Jesuit formation, which is international, makes us grow both academically and spiritually, but nevertheless, the American academic system has made me develop my ability to work in teams, speak in public, and study in a practical way.”

Jack: “The Loyola community is more than happy you are here! Speaking of the Loyola community, what are you most looking forward to in Chicago?”


Meme: “The experience I will gain from studying at one of the most prestigious universities in the business world is as valuable for my studies as it is for my personal development. It will enrich me in all aspects. I hope to gain insight into various aspects of the culture and history of the country, as well as making new international contacts.”

Jack: “Loyola is definitely the place for you! Lastly, I would like to ask what have you liked most about studying at the JFRC and living in Rome?”


Meme: “What I liked the most and what I am most grateful for is to have felt like a member of a great group, and to have created a family here. JFRC is not a big campus, so I have had the opportunity to exchange words with almost everyone. Regarding Rome, I would like to highlight how beautiful it is, the architecture it has, but especially, the Italian life is a real blast. Even watching the sunset with a glass of wine is better from a viewpoint in Rome than from anywhere else in the world.”


Left: Loyola University Chicago; Center: Universidad Loyola Andalucia; Right: John Felice Rome Center

Interviews by Jack Kane

Graphic by Annelise Richardson

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