The Foreign Exchange at Curtis High School aims to enrich the learning of our students through travel and rich cultural experiences. We strive to create experiences that allow our students to become global learners that benefit from intercultural competence as well as a deeper understanding of history, language, and art.
Curtis High School has four sister schools throughout Europe. Our students have the opportunity to participate in exchanges to The Netherlands, Spain, Italy and France. In the fall, students from these four countries come to us to learn and experience the American way of life. In the mid-winter recess, our students travel to either The Netherlands or Spain. In the spring recess, our students travel to either Italy or France. These exchanges are organized with the intent of enriching the students life in language, culture, history and the arts. Since it is a “real” exchange, the European students and teachers stay in our homes in the fall. We, in turn, stay in the homes of the people we have hosted when we travel abroad. Each experience is uniquely different, as each participant.
VISIT CASTRICUM AND AMSTERDAM
VISIT GIJÓN AND MADRID
VISIT MILAN AND FLORENCE
VISIT REIMS AND PARIS
Statements from Past participants
The very best experience I've received out of Curtis High School was the Young Diplomats Foreign Exchange Program. I've personally done it twice but if I could've, I would've gone many more times . I went to Italy and France and enjoyed every minute of it. I also had very nice correspondents who are now very good friends with me that are still keeping in touch. Not to mention my correspondents are not the only friends I've made. I've made many friends. Before I went to both places I received an itinerary that was kept up with very well and were able to do perhaps even more things. Great source of exercise too with all the walking and was very well worth it. The part that I appreciate the most is that I felt safe all the time. We were all kept up with by "Mama Isasi" making sure we were all together, never hungry, and made sure our noses weren't running. If not, she will run to the nearest place where they'll have things to keep us well. It felt as if I was able to travel on my own yet have a mom there when I felt a bit homesick. How many of your friends at 15-18 yrs old could say "I went to Italy, Holland, Spain, and/or France for a couple of weeks with my friends at my school?" Not many or none right? Be that friend that's able to say that! Join the Foreign Exchange! Take the opportunity that you cannot get anywhere else.
- Kierra Sicilian
From the foreign exchange program, I got a memorable experience that was the highlight of my senior year. It was great to be able to make friends in other countries, and to see what life is like for high schoolers in Europe. Not only that, I learned tons about the history and culture of Spain, which was especially interesting for me as I never traveled outside of the US before.
- Luke McNamara
The foreign exchange program at Curtis has impacted my life in ways which words can not fully explain. Through this program, I was able to travel to Spain and the Netherlands. I also met one of my best friends to this day through the YASE program, a young man from Israel. Foreign exchange encouraged me to explore the culture and society of other nations, while simultaneously meeting lifelong foreign connections. These experiences have amplified my success throughout high school and the remainder of my college career by opening my mind to all the world has to offer. As a future Marine Corps Officer earning my degree at The Pennsylvania State University, meeting fellow students from all over the globe has given me a better understanding of our international impact as a country. It is vital that American students interact with our peers from other nations in order to ensure the success and integration of our society on an international scale. Curtis HS continually educates students on our global community by encouraging and supporting their student body to participate in foreign exchange. By taking advantage of this great opportunity Curtis offers, I view the world from a more open and cultured perspective.
- Benjamin M. Mannino
After participating in the Foreign Exchange Program for the past 2 years, I can confidently say that it is a once in a lifetime experience that I am so grateful to be a part of. We are given the opportunity to be able to host a student from a completely different country and show them how amazing New York is while introducing them to all of our customs, traditions and everyday lifestyle. We then get to travel to the other country and meet back up with our students. These students quickly became close friends and personally, I was surprised to find how strong our relationship became over such a short time. When in their home country, we are able to live like our students which I think is very unique to this program because it lets us experience a new type of authentic culture. This is a very special program because it gives us the ability to see new cultures from a native perspective and expand our horizons while learning and having fun. It prompts us to be open-minded, and responsible individuals at such a young age.
- Mollie Friar
The word that means Foreign Exchange to me is "Experience", During my exchange with the French, I first had the great opportunity to meet so many amazing people. The experience of hosting students for two weeks brings you so close to people from around the world in such little time, I am still to this day in contact with both my students from France and most recently Italy. I was also able to experience traveling to Europe for the first time, my trip to France taught me how to appreciate the culture of peoples lives, the history, and how to live in the moment. From the "Pan Un Chocolate" Croissants to learning how to snowboard in the mountains of France, To be able to "Experience" such amazing things through this program has made me very grateful to be attending Curtis High School.- Jackson Krajnak
I had the privilege of traveling to 3 different countries (Italy, France, and the Netherlands) and hosting on five separate occasions. The opportunity to live with a host family is unlike any other, as it permits you to learn to live like a local from a first hand perspective, and see opportunities that would not have been possible on a 10-Day Expedia style trip. To spend Easter in a Milanese household and learn their customs was an incredible opportunity .. as was to teach them the customs of Thanksgiving. To go to their schools and have our host families accompany us was the best exposure, and I am lucky to still be in close contact with my host families abroad. These trips have, in part, shaped who I am and my values four years later. Because of these trips, I not only learned about the cultures that I met with, but I also learned the keys of how to be a good traveler and handle challenges that naturally arose, regardless of the potential language barrier. This is a lifelong skill that has bettered me in my travels since then, and I couldn’t be more thankful to Curtis and especially Ms. Isasi-Endress for this opportunity.
- Sarah Daghestani
Protocol for Student Selection
Requirements for acceptance into the foreign exchange program:
- Higher than 90 percent attendance
- Passing all major core subject areas
- Higher than 85 percent GPA
- Teacher and guidance counselor recommendations
Point System for Country Selection:
(40% x Attendance Rate) + (10% x Overall GPA) + (20% x Essay Score) + (20% x Teacher Recommendations) + (10% x Guidance Recommendation) = Score
- Seniors +30
- Juniors +10
- Sophomores +5
- Coordinators and lead chaperones for each country will participate in the acceptance and selection process of each country.
- Essays will be scored with a rubric.
- Teacher and guidance counselor recommendations will be scored with a rubric.
- Attendance rate will be calculated.
- Overall GPA will be taken from the last report card.
- Using this data and the formula stated above, each student will receive a raw score.
- Bonus points will be awarded based on the above criteria.
- A list will be compiled with scores from highest to lowest.
- Students with the highest overall score will be selected for their first choice of country.
- Remaining students will receive their second choice, based on their overall score.
- Students who are not selected during this process will be added to a list of alternates, and may be selected in case someone cannot participate.
- The list of alternates will be organized from highest score to lowest.