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Around the World in 92 Days: MS Global Programs Take Off

Josie N., Staff Writer

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Where do middle school students and teachers go over the summer? Do they travel out of the country, visit other states, or relax at home?

The middle school offers students many different trips to exciting destinations, including but not limited to Canada, China, Ecuador, and Spain.

Students are given an opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture even if they aren’t able to attend the trips in the summer.  During the year students from different countries come to Westminster, and Westminster students can host them in their home.

Sue J., an eighth grade girl, said she would like to host a student in her home. “I was interested in the global program going to Canada, but the trip is during a summer school course I would like to take for high school, but I am planning on hosting French students because I think that I would be a good host and make them feel welcome,” said Sue J.

Some global program students depart on their adventure in May, while others continue through July.

Matias H., an eighth grade boy and a global ambassador, said, “I would like to go on the Spain global program because a ton of my friends are going and the trip will be really fun. And I don’t consider being a global ambassador being a factor to help me get into the global programs. We don’t have any say as to who gets in. I want to host students in my home because I’m a global ambassador and I have been to Spain and France, and I take French and am fluent in Spanish.  I think hosting a student would be a really good experience.”

Students don’t even have to leave the comfort of their home to experience a culture from around the world.

Nyambura K., a seventh grade girl, said, “I’m not interested in going on a global program because I would rather go on a vacation with my family than go on a school trip. I could potentially be interested in hosting a student though. I think I would be a good host to the student because my family would make them feel comfortable.”

Trips vary in length; some trips are two weeks and others are around three.

Tucker H., a sixth grade boy, said, “I’m interested in going to Canada because it’s a cool place and has lots of natural wonders. I would be interested in hosting a student, but I don’t think my parents would let me because my house doesn’t have enough room for two extra students.”

Global programs are not just an opportunity for the students. Teachers that lead the trips also get the opportunity to try new experiences and learn about the culture and daily life.

Madame Hankla, a French teacher and a coordinator for the French global program, said, “For the global programs we send out a questionnaire to the host families and with these surveys we match the students who relate to each other the most. I have been on the French trip twice and we visit markets, churches, and the city. We do all of these activities because we want the students to not only have fun but to immerse themselves in the culture and the French language.”

One major plus to the trips is that the students get to bond and the teachers get to bond with the students.

Senior Hoyos, a Spanish teacher and head of the global programs said, “I like all the global programs. Each trip engages a different type of student throughout language emersion. The main beneficial part of the trips is to gain self-awareness, connect with people, to understand your place in the world by challenging one’s own assumptions, and to approach situations as an empathetic learner. Each global program came to life from the passion of the faculty.  The global programs are growing, and each trip is interconnected with what we do at school.”

In conclusion, many students are excited to host or participate in a global program. When walking down the halls say hello to the exchange students and say goodbye to friends who are embarking on a new journey by participating in a global program.

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Around the World in 92 Days: MS Global Programs Take Off