The Salesianum School Foreign Exchange Program
Participation in a foreign exchange can be an enriching and eye-opening adventure, where learning extends to the world beyond the classroom walls. There is no substitute for spending time in a foreign country if you want to gain knowledge of another culture's spirituality, customs, people, and language.
The exchange students stay with a host family for the duration of the exchange. The Salesianum staff typically stays at the Oblate Residence located at the visiting school or in the home of a faculty member. Students are generally in close proximity to the Oblate school in the event that your son needs to contact an American chaperone.
Since the students will miss some days of school, mandatory study hall sessions will be held to insure that all students are able to keep up on the class work that will be provided by their teachers. Students are expected to complete all work assigned by their teachers during the course of the exchange. If students encounter difficulties with their assignments, they are to contact their teacher via the internet for instructions, advice, or guidance. This exchange is an educational experience and the participants will not be marked absent for the days spent out of school.
Students who return from an exchange program often say it was an experience which matured them personally and intellectually. They praise being exposed to new ways of thinking and living, which encourages growth and independence. Exchange students are also likely to develop some transnational competencies that colleges and universities value in prospective students: cross-cultural communication skills, analytical skills, an understanding of and familiarity with local customs and cultural contexts, flexibility, resilience, and the ability to adapt to new circumstances and deal constructively with differences.
For many students, participating in a foreign exchange is the first time they have really been away from 'home,' from familiar surroundings of the USA, as well as from friends and family. This is not always an easy experience, but it is universally praised as worthwhile, often even life-transforming. Students experience the challenges of adapting to a new environment and experiencing the many highs and lows of being a 'foreigner.' Participants typically return home with increased self-confidence and justifiable pride in what they have achieved, as well as acquiring a deeper appreciation for their place in the Salesian family.