Young people, especially graduates, are no longer afraid to leave Spain. They are emigrating and it has nothing to do with the fact that they don’t find a job or appropriate studies for their capacities: there are simply no borders for them. They are not afraid to move to an unknown country in order to discover new ways of thinking and are a clear example of the interconnectivity of the world. Aligned with our mission -train “students with a global conscience”- ASV encourages students from an early age to take advantage of experiences such as exchanges.
Last month, a group of Middle School scholars completed the first part of the exchange between ASV and the Community School of Naples (CSN), a school located in Florida (United States). The ASV expedition was composed of nine students and two teachers, and in the period of two weeks their members integrated in the daily CSN routine as well as living with their host families. The fact that students have the opportunity to stay in a host family reinforces this bond: “It has been a challenge for me to go to such a far away country and I have grown as a student in independence. It has also made me see a different culture and perspective of life” adds Daniel, a Grade 7 student who has participated in this year’s exchange.
During their stay, participants follow a specific timetable that combines the Middle School curriculum in CSN and spare time to keep up with their work at ASV. They had courses like Science, Mathematics and History, but also took electives like Python programming, creative writing, or drone driving. Lessons finish at 15:00 and afternoons were addressed to extracurricular activities and sports. “They have more extracurricular activities and elective subjects. Going to school for them is much more than just studying the traditional program”, narrates Jaime, another student who has enjoyed this experience abroad in 2020.
The ASV group had two field trips specifically designed for them: they discovered the well-known wetland of the Everglades and visited the Marine Biology department in the Florida Gulf Coast University where they built artificial reefs with recycled sports equipment. CSN students will travel to Valencia in March to complete the second part of the exchange program. Since the first edition (2014-2015), 125 ASV students have participated in this experience and the program has tightened the bond between the two schools, who have organized teachers’ visits and have participated together in athletic events and the ASV Model United Nations program.