From Madrid to Chilton for 3rd AFS student


Alex Bowe

Fifteen-year-old Iris Medina is CHS’s final of three foreign exchange students this year.

Medina’s hometown is Madrid, Spain, where she lives with her parents. Back home, she participates in fencing. She loves fencing because of her friends and her father, who was a three-time Olympian in the sport.

This year, she is participating or plans to participate in cross country, wrestling, track and FFA.

Medina said the best part about living in the United States so far has been the friends she has made.

When asked what has surprised her the most since coming here, she said, “I like that we are able to do arts and woods classes in school.” In Spain, students only take academic classes.

Another difference Medina described between Spain and the U.S. is holidays. For example, there is a spring break in Spain, but it has a mostly religious focus.

Medina hopes to go snowmobiling, ice fishing and sturgeon spearing before the end of her exchange year. She also would love to visit New York.

Medina is staying with the Meyer family, who live on a family farm. She is loving farm life and said, “I’d never seen cows before.”

The oldest Meyer child, Brianna, is a senior at CHS this year. She said, “We decided to host a student because the AFS club started last year (after being shut down because of COVID-19), and I was very interested in different cultures. The experience has been full of learning so far — for both our family and Iris. And I love having a sister from Spain!”

After her study abroad year, Medina has one more year in high school. And after graduation, she is planning to pursue a degree in teaching.