Four Cedar International School students have recently returned from the first official exchange program with students from SEK- Catalunya School, in Spain.
The purpose of the exchange was for the students to gain exposure to the Spanish language in an immersion setting, to be exposed to Spanish and Catalan culture, and experience International Baccalaureate education in a different context.
The students attended classes at SEK- Catalunya while staying with host families from the school. They engaged in several cultural excursions including a visit to La Sagrada Familia, a Barcelona football match, and experienced the different routine of daily life in Spain. Additionally, as part of the cultural exchange they gave a presentation about the British Virgin Islands to the Spanish students, helping to raise awareness of the BVI abroad.
It is hoped that SEK students will reciprocate with a visit to Cedar in January.
Miguel Forti, who led the exchange and escorted the students for a few days before handing over to their hosts said ‘I was hugely impressed at their adaptability. For most of them it was their first time away from home for an extended period, in unfamiliar surroundings, and with people they didn’t know. They took it all in their stride with great maturity. Not only will the experience broaden their outlook, it will hopefully have a huge impact on their competencies in Spanish.’
Justine Bryson, a grade 10 student at Cedar said ‘Actually being immersed in the culture is a much better way of learning about a place than from a website or a classroom. After the three weeks were finished, I didn’t want to leave! The school also organized excursions, so we visited many historical and famous places in Barcelona and learned a lot about its history.’
‘My favorite part of the trip was the Barcelona game we went to. It was a great experience and a great way to see my first proper football game. My other favorite bit of the trip was just enjoying the culture and lifestyle of Spain. I really liked it there, and could easily see myself going back.’ said Leo Forte, Grade 10.
Ella Brownsdon, Grade 10 said ‘Getting to experience a new culture was cool because I got to learn how [my exchange host’s] life differs from mine. The experience in general was very fun and it was amazing to experience something I and many other students have never been lucky enough to do.’
Scott Crawford, Director of Cedar International School said ‘We are very pleased that the exchange program has got off to a successful start, and that Cedar students embraced the chance to connect with the wider global community. This experience serves as the pilot for what the school hopes will be an expanding exchange program over the next few years. With a model in place, it opens opportunities to replicate such an experience with IB schools in other parts of the world around various academic and cultural themes.’
The mission of Cedar International School, a non-profit private school, is to provide each student we serve the opportunity to achieve his/her academic best with an international curriculum within a culturally diverse environment; to encourage leadership, character, creativity, and community service; and to nurture inquiring minds and caring personalities in all students.
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