The Best of Two Worlds

July 11, 2007
LeVincent Truong

He travels around the world to in different countries such as Paris and Africa on his free time to learn and experience different cultures. With an American and Spainish citizenship, he competitively plays soccer in regional areas of Madrid, Spain.

Marco Fernandez, born June 12, 1990 in Berkeley currently resides in Madrid, Spain while attending an American high school. He is neither a typical American nor Spanish student with his academic talents such as International Barrculate classes, and the ability to fluently speak the languages of French, English, and Spanish.
His intertwined American and Spanish background allowed him to view society in different aspects. With the respect for contrasting culture values and ideas he has experienced while in other countries, he has come to appreciate how diverse America is.

“I have visited France about three times, with and without my mom – it’s always fun,” says Fernandez.

He plays in a soccer organization, El Pais, which competes regionally in Spain for trophies and other prizes. He has won three trophies while living in Madrid, with one of the equivalence of an MVP award.

Fernandez’s parents divorced during his childhood, leaving him in the care of his mother, Irene Maratilla. Maratilla’s father in Madrid needed assistance and sought help from her, which forced both Maratilla and Fernandez to move to Spain.
Fluent in Spanish and English, he found cultural and social transition much easier in the private school he attends.

“ Madrid is a cosmopolitan area; I live in the city and the lifestyle there is like San Francisco, except Madrid is much larger,” he says.

In summers, Fernandez travels to foreign countries to learn about the different cultures.

“I have been to 13 countries, some I remember are Africa, Paraguay and many other South American countries.”

His favorite subject is history, but sees himself in 10 years majoring in journalism, political science, or english at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). After completing college, he hopes his career would move him around and be “exciting.”
Fernandez’s favorite food is kebabs, which according to him have recently been a popular food item on the menus of the local restaurants.

“ The food in America has too much flavor. When I was at the airport, the smell of the American food was too strong, it’s not bland like food in Spain,” Fernandez says.

He is currently attending Academic Connections at UC San Diego in the course of Principles and Praticum of Journalism. He hopes to leave the program with more insights to how colleges will be in America when he makes final college choices.

“La cultura has ido mazo de imporante en mi vida. Yo diria que me servido para enriquecerla,” says Fernandez when asked how life has been impacted by culture.

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