Sunday, Apr 14th

SHS Students Take Cultural Exchange Trips to Iceland and Spain

Iceland1Spain, Iceland, and Singapore! The opportunities for global education at Scarsdale High School are just amazing! While the trip for SHS juniors to the Asia Pacific Youth Leadership Summit in Singapore won’t take place until later this summer, two groups of lucky students just got back from their explorations in Iceland and Spain.

spain2In October of this school year, Scarsdale High School hosted the first phase of a cultural exchange program with the IES San Fernando School in Madrid, Spain. a group of Spanish students came to stay with Scarsdale families and over the February break, our SHS students spent a week living with families, attending school and exploring Madrid.

According to one of the chaperones, SHS teacher Heather Waters, “We were happy to see the students embrace the experience wholeheartedly- explore a new country as an insider and use their Spanish. Many made great connections to the history they had studied in 9th grade as well as marveled at how different the classes and school were.”

The bonds and connections made between SHS students and the students from Spain were so great, that many were teary-eyed as they said their good-byes to one another. After their farewells, the SHS students traveled to Cordoba and Seville where they explored historical sites, a futball stadium, and practiced their Spanish as they dined in local restaurants and explored the beautiful cities.

Waters, along with her co-chaperones Brendan Lee and Chris Hughes, felt that “the kids were wonderful and understood what a unique and transformative experience they were having. It is why we design these experiences and are so happy when they meet -or exceed -our expected goals.”

Also over the February break, another group of SHS students had the great fortune of exploring Iceland with their teacher-chaperones Tammy Marchini, Dan Meiselman, and Michelle Brito.

In Iceland, the group took in the culture of charming cities like Reykjavik, with panoramic walking tours and an exploration of historical sites.

They also toured the Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant where they learned how Iceland uses hot water as a major source of energy production and even visited a geothermal bakery where they were treated to delicious bread.

While the cities of Iceland are beautiful, the students also took in all the beauty that nature has to offer as they hiked glaciers and a black sand beach, saw geysers and waterfalls, and explored the Kerid Crater. Of course, no trip to Iceland would be complete without a dip in a geothermal spa at the Blue Lagoon, which was the perfect way for the students to end their incredible journey.

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Students who took part in the tour of Iceland are grateful for the wonderful experience they had and say that they loved trying all the different kinds of food, are inspired to grow a garden in a greenhouse, and to explore how we, in the US, can keep moving toward “greener” energy production.

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This summer, finally back live after virtual years resulting from Covid restrictions, juniors are again invited to join the Asia Pacific Youth Leadership Summit in Singapore. Next year there is an Italian Exchange and an environmental studies-themed trip to Costa Rica. Informational meetings for these trips will be rolling out in mid-March. In addition, Chorus, Band and Orchestra will be traveling and performing abroad next February break.

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