For the first time, Archbishop Williams High School is offering the opportunity for French and Spanish language students to study their abroad in an exchange program.
The new program, coordinated by Foreign Language faculty member Diane Jackson and teacher Joann Adams, will enable 26 students to travel abroad this month.
According to a release, eleven juniors and seniors from Archbishop Wiliams, along with faculty chaperones, will fly to Paris on Feb. 14. From there they will fly to Bordeaux.
The group will spend a week in Bordeaux with French host families, attending Lycée and participating in field trips. The following week, they will travel by speed train to Paris to visit La Tour Eiffel, Notre-Dame de Paris, Le Louvre, Versailles, Le Musée d’Orsay and Les Champs-Élysées.
This month as well, Adams will take 15 students to Madrid to attend the San Jose de Cluny school. The students will also visit the medieval town of Toledo, the Palacio Real, and the famous outdoor market in Madrid called Rastro.
“Of course, just the opportunity to stay in a foreign home is such an enriching experience for our exchange students,” Adams said.
In April, students from San Jose de Cluny and the Bordeaux school will visit Archbishop Williams in Braintree, taking classes, experiencing in the local culture, and traveling to Boston and New York.
President of AWHS, Carmen Mariano, is fully supportive of the new project, and is looking forward to hearing about the experience, he said.
“The world’s best classroom is itself,” Mariano said in a release. “There is no educational experience more powerful than travel. I am excited for our students and I am excited for the world!”
Although this is the first year for the exchange program, administrators and faculty have long offered opportunities for students to study abroad.
There is an annual program for students to visit a foreign country at Archbishop Williams. This year alone, 24 students will travel on a 10-day European sweep to Barcelona, Provence, Nice, Monaco, Florence, Pisa, and Rome.
Although a very different experience than the exchange program, Foreign Language Department Chair Beverly Ekstrom said the opportunity is also a valuable way for the students to learn.
“The best way to learn is through experiential happenings,” she said.