Throughout the many blog posts and pictures that have appeared on Vidigami for our program, the staff have tried to capture how it feels to be on this program with your sons and daughters. We are now past the halfway point and I would like to try and sum up in a few short paragraphs the 3 themes of opportunity, community and responsibility that can be used to sum up our experiences thus far.
It is safe to say that your sons and daughters have been given an incredible opportunity to visit Rome and the Greek Islands for this program. Everyone has seen thousands of years of history first hand, been able to learn about buildings, people, events and cultures first hand. Sometimes these experiences are formal where a teacher or a tour guide is explaining a part of their curriculum that allows them that experiential education that Blyth provides on every program. Many times though it is when students are exploring with a group of friends without any formal guide, experiencing these cities and islands of history. Shopping, interacting with locals or interpreting culture or historic sites first hand without any help. All of our students have really taken advantage of this opportunity. They are not letting their time in these amazing locations slip away and are taking every advantage to soak it all in within class and when they are on free time. They realize how special this opportunity is that they have accessed and are taking the opportunity and experiencing it as mature and reflective young adults. Many parents may be wondering if your son or daughter was ready to be away on their own away from home. The students on this program have truly shown that they are ready for that opportunity and are mature enough to take full advantage of what you offered them this summer in taking a Blyth Academy International Summers program.
From the first day of the program, the staff have stressed the importance of our program becoming a strong community or family. The importance of supporting one another academically and socially is vital for the success of this program. With parents thousands of Km’s away we need to make sure we are providing care and empathy as we deal with the ups and downs of being so far away from our loved ones at home in Canada. Again, our students have taken this to heart and have bonded very closely with one another. Students are supportive in and out of the classroom to help one another keep up with the fast paced curriculum that they are experiencing together. They have bonded as friends to support each other in and out of the classroom, to make sure they compromise when deciding what to do at night or on weekends based on the group’s needs rather than just their own. When students have missed home, felt ill or are stressing about school other students have shown empathy and care when helping their new close friend work through it. The maturity of the students on the program is truly evident on a daily basis and they have built a strong community of 88 students in a very short period of time. In the near future for most of these students is post-secondary education and I can see that these students, given their maturity and abilities at the moment, will be ready for that independent life of post-secondary education.
Many parents may have wondered about their son/daughter’s safety being so far away from the nest of home but I can assure you that your son/daughter has been very responsible in following the guidelines that Blyth Academy has to ensure their safety. It is clear that this group of students respect themselves and each other and represent their families, our school, our country and themselves in a way that all our locations know our Canadian students are a fantastic group. Thank you for raising such a thoughtful, responsible and respectful group of young adults. Our staff have often reflected how lucky we are to have this group on the program.
Thank you for reading. We are only 12 days away from coming home. I know students are excited to see all their loved ones on the 26th but they also are realizing just how much they are going to miss their new friends and miss the opportunity that you have provided to them this summer with this program.
The Program Manager Team – Rome and the Greek Islands – July, 2017