Interview with the South African Delegation

By: Ashley Paredes ’25

     A few weeks after an Ursuline Dallas delegation visited Brescia House School in South Africa, their students returned to our campus in April.

     Students said it was a relief being able to see their host sisters again. Over two weeks, the girls became great friends, and many got the opportunity to see their friends again and live their experiences in Dallas. 

     “When we said goodbye to them we knew we would come back to see them in two weeks and coming back it felt like our friendship got stronger,” Kirstie Pulverman said.

     On delegations, students experience other cultures and see many differences between each other’s schools. Students said there are a lot of differences between Ursuline Dallas and Brescia House School.

     At Ursuline, we have mascots for our sports teams, but they don’t at the school in South Africa. Also, our grades are much bigger, and the girls noticed that we do not know everyone in our grade, but they do. We also have more freedom with our class choices and classes are more directed towards a specific career choice.

     “I noticed your class times are much longer. I do not know how you all sit through such long class periods. Our longest ones are 70 minutes,” Jess Pulverman said.

     There are also a lot of similarities between our schools. At both schools, we stop to pray in the morning and afternoon. At Ursuline, every classroom has a crucifix and it’s the same in South Africa. One thing interesting they also noticed was that we have the same photo of Pope Francis.

     Brescia House School has its own kind of intramurals. Instead of being separated by grades, they are split into houses of all ages.

     “We have three houses full of people from ages 5-18, and we compete in sports, music, and dance it is sort of like your intramurals. It is funny we think of it like the Harry Potter houses,” Kirstie Pulverman said.

     One big thing about America compared to South Africa is how much freedom there is with driving. Students said they loved having the opportunity to go out and get food with their host students. Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, and Babe’s were some of their favorites.

     Students from Brescia House School got to attend some classes with their host sisters. The best classes were Forensic Sciences, AP lang for English, and Government.

      “Being with your host sister is like being a local. It was nice not being in a hotel, and it was fun walking around and going shopping!” Jess Pulverman said.

     During their visit, some members of our Bear Facts newspaper staff got to interview students from South Africa.

     “Essentially, having conversations with girls across the world was eye-opening for me. Talking about their way of life was fun, seeing the similarities and differences. For example, some things they do not have are Target and Walmart. They also talked about how they loved getting ICEEs,” Sofia Velesiotis ’24 said.

     The girls had a lot of fun getting to know each other and learning about each other’s daily lives.

     “I loved getting to meet the South African delegation! I had a few of my good friends visit South Africa with Ursuline in March. Getting to meet their friends was exciting. They were all so fun and friendly! It was a meaningful experience getting to meet girls from another part of the world,” Ava Mychel Rodriguez ’24 said.

     Delegation sister friends got to reunite and had another great delegation experience. After the students from South Africa left, another delegation from our French sister school came to Ursuline Dallas.

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