SUMMIT, NJ - As part of Oak Knoll School's 'Global Learning initiative', the all-girls Upper School will participate in an exchange program with Jesuïtes Sarrià Sant Ignasi and Jesuïtes Lleida Col-legi Claver Raimat in Spain, as well as Lycée Sacré Cœur in France.
Through the program, Oak Knoll will welcome students from the schools in September and October 2017, with each group of students staying with Oak Knoll families and attending classes for two weeks. Upper School students will visit schools in Spain and France for two weeks in the spring of 2018.
“In our day and age, global learning and global citizenship are more important than ever. As a Holy Child school following the vision of Cornelia Connelly, this initiative fits in well with our goals to offer a challenging and creative course of study that develops a love of learning and academic excellence,” said Paul Kutner, chair of the World Languages Department and director of International Trips and Exchanges.
As most Catholic Schools in Europe are coed, Oak Knoll is partnering with Delbarton and St. Peter’s Prep for the exchange program.
A major component of the program is students also becoming ingratiated into the culture as much as possible, Kutner said.
He added, “It is the opportunity to understand other cultures, promoting peace and appreciation for others and it most certainly ‘meets the wants of the age’ by bringing peoples together at a time when we need more understanding of each other’s backgrounds."
Jesuïtes Sarrià Sant Ignasi and Jesuïtes Lleida Col-legi Claver Raimat, both Jesuit schools, are located in Barcelona and Lérida, respectively, with the latter school being located in a former monastery amongst beautiful natural scenery.
The French school, Sacré Cœur, which means Sacred Heart, is already familiar to Oak Knoll, as 17 students and two teachers from the school visited Oak Knoll's campus in Summit this past February. During the day, students toured the school and were paired up with Oak Knoll students to attend French classes, eat lunch and exchange glimpses into each other’s culture.
Kutner noted Sacré Cœur was a strategic choice, as its geographic location has historic significance within the AP French curriculum, as it is where Christians hid Jews during World War II.
The exchange program is open for sophomore, junior and senior French and Spanish students in level III or higher that are enrolled in a French or Spanish course for the 2017-18 school year.