By JENNIFER BRICE — This past October, IHS students experienced a cultural exchange with the arrival of French student exchange guests. These students were hosted over the course of two weeks by participants in the high school’s foreign language department, who are interested in expanding their understanding of French language and culture.
This is but one example of the mind-opening opportunities IHS offers for students who seek a global perspective.
The exchange was organized jointly by French teacher Mr. Dykun and French advisors. The teachers provided meaningful experiences to their students that expanded the typical learning environment of the world around them.
French students spent their time experiencing daily American life, and American students were exposed to a different language and observing the cultural differences. “It’s fun to get to know new people and to learn more French,” says senior participant Jennifer Zheng. “I enjoyed showing our daily lives and getting to explore. Little differences were interesting to see.”
After hosting students from France, the high school’s foreign language students are offered the opportunity to visit France, thus fulfilling the entirety of the “exchange.”
Senior Abby Colonna is participating in the exchange for her second year, and she was part of the school’s trip to France. This feature allows American students, “To see two sides,” of the culture, says Colonna. “If you want to meet people and experience a new culture, the program is an eye-opening experience.”
By providing a real-world application of learning, the foreign language department builds more diverse relationships and perspectives in the world.
The French exchange is one example of a more hands-on learning experience utilized by the high school. Other classes implement similar programs that allow students to gain a deeper knowledge of languages and cultures pertaining to the Spanish and German departments.
Indiana High School also hosts year-long exchange students, supporting global students’ American experience. By facilitating the establishment of these relationships, our school is equipping participants with a more open and prepared mind.
[Photo by James Dykun ]
Photo caption: French students and their IHS host students gather in the gymnasium.