International exchanges have been a part of our school’s tradition for years. In 2014 we made it a part of our curriculum for third year students. So far we have collaborated with schools from a number of different countries including Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Slovakia, Serbia, Macedonia and Spain.
The students spend one week hosting in Slovenia and one week abroad. They experience full immersion into the culture during their homestay with the host family. Participating in international exchanges enables our students to develop a cultural understanding of others and the self. It forces them so take a more active role in presenting Slovenia to foreigners and therefore also learn about it themselves.
We usually organize two day trips which showcase the geographical, historical and natural wonders of the host country. The students are also introduced to the local school system through class auditing and project work. Project work in mixed teams of students explores a specific topic and allows students to develop creativity, critical thinking and work on collaboration. In the past, our topics have included: tourism, cultural and natural heritage, architecture, wars of the 20th century, migrations, solidarity, water, light and so on. Starting this school year (2022/2023) the topic is Active citizenship for European youth which will allow students to discuss human rights, the role of the state, the media and climate change in Slovenia and abroad.
At the end of the week the students are invited to prepare a presentation of their weeklong findings for their parents.
After the exchange the students reflect on the week and usually highlight that the experience has allowed them to forge meaningful connections and experience personal growth.
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