On Saturday 9 January, 5 Dallas International School (DIS) High School students boarded a plane for Florence. They will spend 5 weeks in Italy attending the Lycée Victor Hugo, sister school to DIS and fellow member of the Mission laique francaise (Mlf) network. The curriculum at both schools is interchangeable, and the pedagogical teams of the two institutions are constantly in collaboration to make sure that the lesson plans stay in sync. In other words, DIS students will be able to continue their studies abroad as if they were still in Dallas. This is just one of the advantages of the Mlf network which comprises 110 schools in 41 different countries.
The first few days abroad have been very positive so far! DIS students are cherishing the sweetness of the Italian lifestyle while marveling at the architectural wonders of Florence. During their trip, the students will live with a host family, the family of the pen pals they have been corresponding with for some time. In fact, this study-abroad program is twofold: their Italian pen pals will travel to Dallas in February and March to spend 5 weeks experiencing the American lifestyle.
The principal objectives of this exchange allow for students to encounter a new culture through the discovery of a European country while also reinforcing their mastery of the French language (being that the students are residing with Francophones during their stay). The students will also develop skills that will greatly benefit their personal growth as they become more autonomous and independent. They are already integrating perfectly into their new school and were even asked to assist the Lower School instructors in teaching English, a valued act of community service.
Amazingly, DIS was able to offer this study abroad exchange for a reasonably low cost: just the price of a plane ticket and a little bit of pocket money. In fact, the relationship of these two sister schools ensures that DIS tuition can be applied towards attending another school within the Mlf network. And in a considerate gesture of hospitality, the day-to-day costs of lodging are paid for by the student’s host family.
The development of such exchange programs is a goal of DIS, and Mlf’s incredibly vast network is able to accommodate these various requests and organize an enriching experience across 5 continents. Another partnership is currently in the works with a French school in Alicante, Spain where four DIS students will spend their third trimester.