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Carlisle will begin exchange program
Partner is school in Milan, Italy
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Students at Carlisle School will have the chance to study abroad this year through a student/faculty exchange partnership with a school in Milan, Italy.
Carlisle announced the partnership Sunday with the ITC Enrico Tosi School in the Busto Arsizio area of northern Italy. Under the agreement, 10 students from the school in Milan will attend Carlisle School in November and stay with host families who currently have children at Carlisle. The same 10 Carlisle host families' children will then go to Milan for two weeks in March 2012, according to Simon Owen-Williams, head of school at Carlisle.
The exchange program is designed to compliment the school's International Baccalaureate program, the release said. That program involves advanced courses in several subjects, year-end exams, community service and more.
Carlisle students will attend Enrico Tosi School and will take classes in commerce, technology and the Italian language, according to Owen-Williams.
The students from Milan will get a sense of the American curriculum by taking classes in science, math, history, technology and learning some English, Owen-Williams said.
Classes in Italian are not offered at Carlisle, he added. However, both groups of students shouldn't have too much trouble adapting to the language barrier because many Italians speak some English, according to Owen-Williams.
Aside from the curriculum, "the point is to promote cultural awareness," he said.
"We believe in the intrinsic value of education through travel. This is a wonderful opportunity for some of our students to witness firsthand how other educational systems function and how Italian families live and students learn there. It will allow students to gain invaluable international connections and to develop friendships that will hopefully be long lasting," he said in the release.
"Traveling is very important," and it gives you a broader perspective of the world, Owen-Williams added. "It makes you aware of your own identity, and it makes a more well-rounded person."�
The principal of Enrico Tosi School, Nadia Catteneo, will visit the Martinsville area in the end of this month along with a group of dignitaries from Milan, the release said. The Italian students who study at Carlisle also will visit Washington, D.C., en route to Martinsville, the release said.
The Italian students' time here will include Thanksgiving, which will give them the chance to experience an American holiday, Owen-Williams said.
He said the exchange partnership also is important because it "brings people to the area" and could influence foreign investment.
Carlisle students interested in participating in the exchange will go through a vigorous application process, the release said. Selected students will be informed during early September and will undergo a formal orientation to Italian culture and language while in school, Owen-Williams said.
"We expect there to be considerable interest in this program, and students will have to make a strong case in an essay as to why they should qualify to go. As interest grows we will look to expand the exchange in the future," he said. "In year one, students will be accompanied by a faculty member and must be of high school age."�
Connections with the school in Italy were made when Owen-Williams and his family lived and worked in Lugano, Switzerland, in the 1990s.
"I had the good fortune of becoming friends with a colleague, Lorenzo Parrini, who hails from that area," Owen-Williams said. "Having been to Busto Arsizio back then gives me a high degree of comfort with this exchange. It is a beautiful part of the world."�
Owen-Williams speaks Italian and recently gave a speech in Italian at the graduation ceremony at Enrico Tosi School, he said.