Dear Parents and Friends,
For many students taking summer school back home, they may dread the early wake up and attending the same class in the same room for a month. On this program, the students woke up early to attend class in a new city or country. They had many opportunities to engage in educational excursions such as visiting the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in Paris or a historical walking tour of Madrid. The English students’ writing was inspired by their surroundings rather than a textbook. The history students were able to see historical sites and relieve aspects of their lessons. The photography students had unique backdrops and subjects in each city we visited.
The opportunities on this program pushed the students to go outside their usual avenues and explore new possibilities of knowledge, ability and adventure. The teachers challenged the students to apply their knowledge to their surroundings and think outside the walls of a typical classroom or traditional textbook. During our many museum visits, students learned about the artistic works of Picasso, Dahl and Leonardo da Vinci. While on our walking tours, the students learned about the history and culture of each city.
In the last month, we have visited six distinctly unique countries and twelve different cities. Our group of students became a tight knit family away from home. The students on the program were enthusiastic, curious, polite, energetic and supportive of one another. All the parents at home should be proud of how their son or daughter behaved and represented him or herself throughout the program. Not only have the students learned academic lessons, but also a lot of life lessons. The students have learned how to buy groceries, maneuver transit systems, do laundry and how to use body language to get their point across when presented with a language barrier.
Although I am sure the students are eager to return home, I hope they can reflect back on their travel experiences, share their photos and stories with others but most importantly, incorporate the cultural and educational as well as life lessons into their lives. I hope this program has increased each student’s interest to travel and learn new cultures as well as heightened their sense of adventure. I encourage all of the students to continue to explore the world and seek out new adventures in the future.
Lastly, there are a number of people who have contributed to the success of the program. I would like to thank Calvin Cahatol, Chris Coates, Megan Patullo and Frankie Kouwenhoven for sharing their knowledge and experiences with the students in their classes. Their real life experiences and vast wisdom assisted the students in applying their knowledge. I would also like to thank Anthony Sanseverino for planning unique activities for the students. All of the staff’s help and long work hours went beyond the classroom and they played an integrate role in assisting with many of the logistics of this program. I would like to thank the staff at Blyth Education not only for the opportunity but also for their support throughout the program with planning and all the logistics with such a complex program. Lastly, I would like to thank the students for their patience, flexibility and energy, all of you contributed to the success of the program and made it a lot of fun. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.