FOR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS WHO WANT TO SEE THE WORLD!
Most people think student travel and study abroad programs are reserved for Junior Year Abroad in college or the Jet Set with money to burn. Not so says students at Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS), a Denver Public Magnet School for grades six through twelve. Hitting the road NOW can, and does, make a lasting impression on young travelers. Just ask a student who has done so!
Last year Monica Weller, a DCIS student spent her sophomore year in Kauahjoki, Finland on a Rotary Youth Exchange. “I learned Finnish, discovered the advantages of having friends from around the world and experienced wonderful memories and heartbreaking moments that make the world seem just a bit brighter,” says Monica, but more importantly, “ I now know that a year abroad is one of the best things a person could ever do, no matter where the destination may be.”
There are as many reasons to travel in secondary school as there are programs to choose from. Some students travel to discover new cultures or gain new language skills.. Others have more personal reasons. Last summer Jade Mather and Olivia Hirota headed to Beijing, China for eight weeks on full scholarship with Americans Promoting Study Abroad (APSA). The mission was to study Chinese and immerse oneself in Chinese culture. Both Jade and Olivia were adopted from China. Both viewed this as an opportunity to improve their Chinese, but more importantly, to discover their roots. ”The program gave me the opportunity to experience many cultural activities. I reflected on my life and what I want to pursue in the future,” says Jade about her trip. “It was a great chance to get out of my comfort zone and find a little part of who I am.”
Finding the right program is important. Talking to program providers as well as students and teachers that have used their services is helpful in finding the right fit for student travel, particularly for those in middle and high school. Travel Fairs, like college fairs provide a perfect venue to dip one’s toe in the water and be able to ask questions, pick up literature and learn first hand about a variety of programs on a personal level.
Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) will host its annual Travel and Study Abroad Fair on Thursday, November 15, 2012 from 3-7PM at DCIS located at 574 West Sixth Avenue, Denver, CO 80204. This year DCIS is partnering with the Center for Teaching International Relations (CTIR). Aimed at middle and high school students, as well as language and social studies teachers interested in organizing trips or professional development opportunities, the fair is one stop shopping for those thinking about traveling near or far or studying abroad. There is no admission to the Fair which is open to students, teachers and parents in public, charter and private schools in the Denver metro area and surrounding districts.
Over 20 vendors representing a wide variety of programs including student exchanges and hosting opportunities, historical and cultural tours, language immersion programs, ecological and adventure travel, as well as community service opportunities will be on board to answer questions and distribute information. Vendors include American Field Service(AFS), ASSE, AUSA, Blue Star of of Hope, Bold Leaders, Center for Cultural Interchange, CETUSA, CIEE, Cultural Homestay, Denver Sister Cities, Education Travel and Culture, EF Educational Tours/EF Foundation; Global Leadership Adventure, Global Works Travel, Rotary Youth Programs, Rustic Pathways, School Year Abroad, Sol Abroad, The Travel Society, Where There Be Dragons, Youth in Action and the US Passport Office. This year’s sponsors are American Field Service and IZZE Sparkling Juices.
New this year are a number of brief workshop presentations on Hosting Exchange Students presented by American Field Service (AFS) and CIEE, Navigating and Organizing Teacher Sponsored Trips (EF Tours), and presentations by students who have lived and traveled abroad.
Why travel in middle or high school? Just ask a student! “I have gained more than just a travel experience in Peru. I’ve fallen in love with the people, the country, and the culture. There’s no doubt I will come back to Peru someday.” says Ca’la Connors, a DCIS senior who spent last year in Arequipa, Peru. “Exchange is not just a year in year in a life, it’s a live in a year.”
For more information on the Travel and Study Abroad Fair, please contact Geri Badler at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 720.423.9071(school) or 215.275.0571 (cell)