Each year, approximately 60% our students head off for part of their sophomore or junior year for an exchange abroad or elsewhere in the United States. This pivotal experience enhances the students’ nuanced understanding of cultural differences with first-hand perspective. Students return with a new-found confidence, and for those who choose to continue their study of French or German, an embodied sense of that language.
At home in Maine, our students benefit from having exchange students join them in our classrooms as well. Maine Coast facilitates exchanges with Waldorf schools in Austria, France, Germany, Scotland, and Switzerland, who in turn, send their students to Maine Coast. Because the families involved agree to host each others’ children, program costs are kept relatively low—not much more than the cost of the plane ticket.
And because the exchange program does not require a connection to our foreign language program, we’re excited to open up this cultural experience to schools in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Likewise, for students with strong Spanish language skills, there are opportunities to study abroad in Mexico and South America. We’re always open to discussing new possibilities for immersive experiences that complement students’ skills and create new connections for our school community.