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Rugby families host exchange students

Guillermo and Amandine enroll at RHS

September 3, 2011
Terri Kelly Barta

Two Rugby families are hosting foreign exchange students this school year.

Rob and Stephanie Hovland sent their oldest daughter, Crystal, off to college in Bismarck, this year, then turned around and welcomed a new "daughter" from Switzerland.

Amandine Bardey, 16, traveled from Granges, Switzerland, to spend one semester at Rugby High School. She wants to improve her skills in speaking English and experience a different culture from her own. For the second semester, she will travel to Germany to learn more about that language and culture.

Bardey can speak three languages, French, German and English but would like a little more practice in English and German. In Switzerland, there are three national languages, German, French, and Italian.

English is her favorite subject in school. She has been taking English for three years. She is eager to improve her use of the only national language in the United States.

She has already completed high school in Switzerland and when she goes back next summer, she will further her education in graphic design.

Since Bardey is from Granges, a village of 807 people, Rugby, ND, USA, does not seem small to her.

"Everybody is very nice here," Bardy said with a smile.

She said her family is much like the Hovland family which consists of two girls, Crystal, 18, Aubrey,16, and one boy, Nolan, 14. The Hovlands have a dog and two cats. The Bardey family consists of her father, Daniel Bardey, a landscaper, mother, Marie-Noel Volerg, a secretary, her step-mother, Pascale Hirsbrunner, a nurse, one step-sister, Kim, 17, one step-brother, Chris, 14, one dog and two cats.

"I love animals," said Bardey.

She also enjoys track and field, reading, seeing friends, and watching movies. Although she will not be here in the spring to participate in track and field events, Bardey will try volleyball while she is in Rugby, which she has played before for fun, not competition.

Bardey has two years to go before she can get her driver's license so she is understandably nervous when 14-year-old Nolan practices driving with a permit.

"That's like riding with my younger brother driving," she laughs.

She seems to fit right in with the Hovland family already.

"I am very happy to be here, this family is cool," she said.

Sharon Anderson and Jon Stork added a "son" from Spain to their family of adult children. His name is Guillermo Penvelas, 17, from Cartagena, Spain. He is the youngest of four brothers, who have all been exchange students in the United States. His parents are Emilio Penvelas, a Marine diver, and Maria Perez - Cuadrado, a nurse. His brothers are: Emilio, Enrique, and Gonzalo.

Penvelas enjoys sports of all kinds. Sharon and Jon have already purchased a Spanish sports channel for the television for the next year. He enjoys tennis, soccer, scuba diving, swimming, and harpoon fishing. Cartagena is on the Mediterranean Sea. He plans to try a new sport here since Rugby doesn't offer tennis or soccer.

"I like all sports," he smiled.

He has been learning English since he was in elementary school and can also speak Spanish and French.

The first thing he noticed about Rugby was the difference in population. Cartagena has a population of 211,996 people while Rugby has 2,876 people. He is also looking forward to seeing snow and finding out how cold it is here. Where he lives in Spain the average temperature in January is 54 degrees F, or as he says 12 celsius.

His favorite food in Spain is lasagna, while here he has enjoyed German potato salad. He said that here a lot of foods are fried and are served in very big portions compared to his country.

He has been in Rugby for one week and he has been enjoying helping his "American sister", Hallie Anderson, brush up on her Spanish while he expands his English. Anderson has an application on her phone that can translate the two languages very quickly.



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