Spending a summer abroad sounds exotic and expensive. But it doesn't have to be. Why should you consider spending a summer abroad? I can think of three reasons.
1. See how people in other countries live.
While it's certainly true that our world has shrunk in so many ways and that we have many things in common, you will find Europeans, Asians and even Canadians do things differently. Seeing how people go about their everyday lives is one of the lasting impressions you will receive from your travels outside the U.S.A.
2. Enjoy yourself.
You have worked hard throughout your high school years. You got accepted by your first-choice college. Spending a month exploring England or Germany or another country will be an exciting break from all that heavy-duty academic work.
3. Reinvent Yourself.
Being away from home can be a bitter-sweet experience. In this case, spending a summer abroad will be mostly sweet. Thanks to WhatsApp and Viber, you are never out of touch with your family back home. That's reassuring for both you and them. Having time to think about things on your own helps clarify your thinking. That will help you plan the year ahead. That first year in college will offer plenty of new challenges.
Several private schools offer a whole academic year abroad. Still others offer a summer abroad. These are enrichment programs designed to expose students who participate in them to the culture and customs of the host country. Promoting global understanding is an underlying aim of all these 'abroad' programs.
Several schools offer summer programs which take place in foreign countries. Here are two examples of the sort of thing being offered:
"Woodberry in Mexico brings students to Morelia, where they take a variety of classes in nontraditional subjects such as guitar, drums, pre-Hispanic Michoacan, human zoology, and Mexican cuisine. They also have opportunities to experience parts of Mexico few Americans see. Possibilities include tours of artisans’ workshops, a professional soccer match, an excursion to colonial towns, and an orphanage visit. In Ixtapa, students experience an “all-inclusive” resort along the beautiful Mexican coastline. Puebla and Oaxaca offer important archeological sites that teach much about indigenous cultures." ...Mexico Immersion Program (One of four summer programs offered by Woodberry Forest School)
The Island School
"On the island of Eleuthra in the Bahamas, the Lawrenceville School is building a study abroad program that offers new way for sophomores to grow, explore, and challenge themselves. Offered by The Lawrenceville School"
School Year Abroad
The School Year Abroad program was started by Phillips Academy in 1964. It is now operated by a consortium of about 30 schools located across the nation. Basically SYA offers approximately 60 students in their junior or senior year the opportunity to spend an academic year abroad in China, France, Italy, Spain or India. Students stay with host families. They are able to maintain their academic standing with their home school while at the same time experiencing all that a year living abroad offers.
Another option for a school year abroad is interaction with other schools. Round Square is a network of 200 schools which describes itself as follows:
"Round Square an internationally diverse network of 200 like-minded schools in 50 countries on six continents that connect and collaborate to offer world-class programmes and experiences, developing global competence, character and confidence in our students. We are like-minded in our shared understanding of the hardwired link between character education and academic success. We also believe that in order to equip our students for positive, active and engaged global citizenship we must offer them more than academic knowledge and qualifications."
This video offers students' perspectives on the Round Square experience.
Yet another option is the Global Education Benchmark Group which describes itself as follows:
"The Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG) is a leading organization of K-12 schools that researches and establishes best practices in the field of global education and prepares students to thrive in increasingly interconnected world systems."
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