In honor of International Education Week, the Monterey High School Abroad Field Study (AFS) International Club orchestrated a vibrant intercultural fair that took place on Tuesday November 15th, 2016. The event was so wonderful, it was featured on the front page of the Monterey. Monterey High would like to thank the students from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, the AFS study-abroad program, the AFS International club, and all the teachers and students who made the event possible.
Monterey High students travel the world during lunch
School teams up with MIIS to broaden student experience
By Claudia Meléndez Salinas, Monterey Herald
(click here to navigate to the Herald's web page and view the article)
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
MONTEREY >> There was presence from Turkey, China, Greece, Germany, Palestine, Cuba, and several other countries. There were also clubs to promote kindness locally and human rights across the globe.
And it all took place during an extended lunch time at Monterey High School.
“We’re trying something new to promote global cultures and languages,” said David Swartz, an English teacher and coordinator of the event. “It’s our first event and there will probably be more. It’s a good way to represent our diversity.”
And it’s also a good way to usher in the new International Baccalaureate program that will become the signature educational system at Monterey High.
The IB program is a well-regarded world-wide educational philosophy that places emphasis on individual research and inquiry with an eye to develop globally-minded citizens. Monterey Peninsula Unified trustees approved the changes earlier this year and all high schools in the district began their transitions in the fall.
Another goal of the IB is to make students more engaged in the world around them through connections with other organizations. Swartz found help from students of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
“We’re starting a partnership between the two schools,” said Shayna Trujillo, student representative for the international education management program at MIIS. “We want to expand people’s understanding of the world around them, that way they can participate in it.”
Students were given a “passport” that they got stamped at every “country” they visited. After walking by several booths, sophomore Grace Long said she was surprised to learn Sweden has several official languages.
Margo Ezcurra, 15, was surprised to learn about the connections many of her classmates have to distant lands.
“That’s fun to see,” she said.
For Ira Shirdhankar, 15, it was “cool” to see how people from other countries come to the United States to learn.
The festivities were coordinated by the AFS International Club. Caren Marre, a team development specialist with AFS, said they want to increase the number of students who go abroad during high school.
“The kids need this to break their bubble,” she said.
Claudia Meléndez Salinas can be reached at 831-726-4370.