At Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, we strive to create internationally minded students. Our Model United Nations and International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes help to foster this understanding as do our international student exchanges. These opportunities not only fit with our mission statement, they also enable students to study history, language and culture in another country. Students return from these exchanges feeling empowered and ready to take on more of a leadership role within STS.
They also share their experiences in a variety of ways with our School community. As internationalization increasingly becomes the focus of many academic and business opportunities, it is appropriate to offer secondary students a chance to develop a global perspective. The International Exchange Program allows for this development in students as well as other skills including independence, adaptability, self-esteem and an increased awareness of other cultures. Students also develop enhanced leadership skills and often reflect on their time on exchange as a highlight of their STS years.
Student exchanges take place during the Grade 10 year. Students must maintain a minimum overall average of 80 per cent in all academic subjects in Grade 9 in order to apply for the program. If a student’s overall average falls below 80 per cent at any time before the exchange, his or her participation in the program may be in jeopardy.
In addition to academic standing, there are other criteria we look for in students wishing to participate in our exchange program:
- Independent, flexible and self-assured students who will contribute to and participate in all aspects of the exchange program;
- Well-rounded students who have made positive contributions to a wide variety of activities at STS;
- Students with strong organizational skills who will be able to manage the increased academic demands of being on exchange;
- Only students who will be positive ambassadors for STS and Canada are chosen to participate in an exchange.
The goal of the exchange is to be fully immersed into a new school and culture. Students will normally be given a full timetable at their host school. Their STS responsibilities will be minimized while they are on exchange, though some work from each class may be required to make the transition back to normal school at home as seamless as possible.
The length of the exchange is generally six to eight weeks. We run exchanges with both boarding and non-boarding Round Square Schools.