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Lower School and Middle School Global Exchange

 

Click on the Exchange you would like to learn more about:


Uruguay–Scuola Italiana di Montevideo
Spain–Colegio Internacional de Valladolid

Overview  
The objective of these exchanges is for students to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures (Spain and Uruguay), practice listening and speaking with native Spanish speakers, find pride in portraying a positive image of the United States of America, and develop transcontinental friendships with students they meet abroad.   Students arrive at the other side of the exchange as more confident individuals.

Visiting students are expected to experience the normal life of your family, including  the day to day activities.  Often, families will plan some special nights out to entertain their visiting students or plan group gatherings.  It is not expected of our host families to entertain their visiting students on a daily basis.  Our way of life in the USA is quite different from that of our visiting students and thus even seemingly mundane outings such as grocery shopping my offer meaningful learning opportunities for our guests.

Where do the children stay?

Students from Park Tudor and visiting schools are housed with host families from within the school community. The exchange lasts approximately ten days.

What are the requirements for hosting students?

Hosting students gives your family the opportunity to meet students that your child may be staying with, or meet, once they travel abroad.  It may also be a chance to host students that hosted your child previously.  The goal is that students who travel also reciprocate as a host family to truly build upon this exchange.  Many families have said that the time they have hosted allowed them to slow down and really enjoy their family time together, talk over dinner about the things that different families do, and learn about the differences in culture.

If you are hosting children in your home, it is not required that they have their own room.  Host students will need their own bed, or be offered their own bed, but it is not uncommon that these students prefer to share a bed.

Host families are responsible for getting their host children to school and other pre-schedule activities.  

All participating PT adults in the host family’s home are required by Park Tudor to complete a volunteer background check.  

Host families put up their own costs.  They provide food and other general needs for their visiting students outside of school hours, as well as covering the cost of any other activities planned with your family.  Depending on the time of travel, host families will need to get students to and from the airport.  Park Tudor and our sister schools attempt to take students who participate as host families on special field trips during the visit.

Will I be expected to speak Spanish?

No, it is not required that you can speak Spanish.  Although knowing some Spanish may make the process easier, most of our visiting students know enough English from school to get by.  In situations where communication might be difficult, school representatives from both PT and our visiting school are always ready to assist.  Issues with communication have not been a common experience with hosting in the past.

How do I meet the family?

There are many ways that families meet before students leave/arrive on the exchange.  Of course, the sooner families sign on to host/travel, the faster schools can make the arrangements.  Many families use WhatsApp, a free app tool that allows families to send free text, photo and video.  Phone calls are even free.  It is encouraged that families get to know each other before the children depart to ease the anxiety of the children and parents involved.

What type of support will we have if we are hosting?

You will have the support of the Park Tudor teachers and administrators, as well as the visiting teachers, 24/7.  Traditionally, host families lend each other a great deal of support, such as planning group events and covering for each other when there may be an appointment or obligation for the family.  As a school community, we put together a list of family addresses and phone numbers so that families can see who may be nearby and available to help with carpooling, etc.

Click here for some advice from former coordinator of the exchanges, Claudia Nole

Click here for some insight from former host family participant, Julie Moorehead

For additional perspectives about the program—
 
Lower School Spanish Teachers

Middle School Spanish Teachers

What is the cost to send my child on this exchange?

The cost involved is specific to each trip, and is based on the number of student travelers and current market pricing.  Families pay for 100% of the trip expense which includes plane airfare, insurance, chaperone costs, uniforms, food and excursions, and any additional spending money. A non-refundable deposit is required to secure your spot on the trip, and once the plane ticket is purchased, there is no refund. 

How do you decide who goes on the trip?

Park Tudor students in grades five and six may apply to join us on our exchange trip.  School administration will have the final decision on whether or not students have the attendance history, maturity of behavior, and academic standing to join in on this supplemental academic opportunity.

How do I know my child is ready for this type of opportunity?

This type of learning is such a special opportunity filled with benefits, but is not necessarily one that all students are ready for, especially in 5th and 6th grade.  We also believe that it is often the parents who are not ready, rather than the children.

You should reflect with your student on how they behave when you are not present, and whether or not they shy away from new and challenging situations.  You and your child can reflect on how they behave in your absence, and if this character reflects your family’s values. Students should have a great understanding that they are representing their family, their school and their country.

We believe that children should be able to spend most of their time each day focused on enjoying activities and interacting with their host families, with a small designated amount of time for contacting their families back home. This helps ensure they are having the fullest experience. Over communication with their family at home can add to their homesickness or be a vessel for them to disengage with their host family.

We believe that this opportunity helps students blossom in independence, and that most students shine when given this chance to see a different world.