By Mark Friedman
While the global pandemic upended almost all the in-person exchanges scheduled for our students this year, Athenian’s international exchanges are still an integral part of our way of being.
Nine Athenian students did five-week virtual exchanges this summer at Markham College or San Silvestre School, Round Square schools in Lima. Some of the students have written about their experience for the Athenian exchange blog and you can read about their adventures here.
These schools in Peru will be holding virtual classes for the rest of 2020, creating unique opportunities for more partnership with Markham and San Silvestre, which conduct classes in English. I will be organizing some social activities and discussions for our students to have with students there, and there is a potential for faculty to connect online academic courses between Round Square Schools. It could be a one-time meeting or an ongoing partnership. This can be an interesting way to bring new perspectives into a class and to dialog with students from other countries.
For many decades, Athenian has been sponsoring students at the Starehe Boys Centre and Starehe Girls’ Center, Round Square schools in Kenya. The Athenian faculty/staff put on a show in the spring to support students there. We had a student from the Starehe Boys’ Centre, Daniel Musyoka, come on exchange to Athenian a few years ago. The Athenian community then financially supported Daniel through his university studies. Recently, I came across Daniel’s thank you letter to Athenian. He gave it to me when I led a trip to East Africa a couple of years ago and the letter got lost in a file. Daniel’s letter is a lovely ode to Athenian and a moving example of our community in action. Even if you never meet Daniel, I think you’ll be inspired by it. Here’s the link.
I look forward to working with our faculty and larger community to create powerful, internationally-oriented learning experiences for our students.