There is a wide pool of opportunities that promote students exchanges. But what about school exchanges for high schools students or even primary school students?
Preparing the tomorrow’s world generation from even an earlier age and raising open minded youngsters, boosting their self-confidence, encouraging them to believe in their dreams and in their inner-power to build a better world, equipping them with the necessary tools to dare to think outside the box, be creative and well prepared for being active citizens in their communities are some of the benefits of international school exchanges.
Numerous programs and initiatives targeting secondary education students offer them favorable circumstances to discover and understand other cultures on a first-hand basis. The direct contact and cooperation with students from other corners of the world are key elements that should be exploited more in facilitating living in peace and harmony in a knowledge-based, dynamic and united Europe.
Personally, I would say that I was involved in not enough projects that foster international cooperation between schools. However, I have facilitated the international participation of more than 30 teachers and 70 students, most of them having disadvantaged backgrounds.
I strongly encourage teachers and trainers to get actively involved in promoting school exchanges. Maybe one of the things that need to be spiced up is to reinforce formal educational structures that follow a long tradition of fostering academic excellence and personal development, by educating students in the spirit of European values within a nurturing and stimulating environment. The harmonious formation of students’ personality, the development of their creativity and individuality is one of the contemporary directions of the redefinition all the European education system.
Nevertheless, international exchanges contribute to strengthen the European dimension in school education, develop communication, language and ICT skills, and encourage quality improvements and innovation. The direct interaction with other educative institutions from the European Union help students, teachers and parents to become more aware of the importance of connecting education to real life experiences.
A diversity of activities to cooperate with people from different corners of the world can bring together students with different socio-cultural backgrounds encouraging them to work together for the best in their attempt to create long lasting products that represent real examples of inspiration for people from all over the world who are interested in developing similar activities.
Combining formal education with non-formal and informal learning experiences can improve the quality of the educational process.
International school projects demand commitment from all the people involved in and asks them to act as ambassadors of their own country. Let’s stand up together and let’s encourage more schools exchanges.
Author: Carmen-Lidia Nistor