Global Community Program
Our sister school program is a component of our Global Initiatives program and furthers our mission to inspire our students to become well-equipped leaders and productive world citizens by cultivating an appreciation, understanding, and a broad knowledge base of our global community. Through our sister school network, students are connected to students in other countries and who attend schools that are similar to Detroit Country Day School in philosophy and mission. The shared purpose of this network is to help foster tolerance, acceptance, and understanding of other cultures and facilitate aspirations to be come better world citizens whether it be through their community, business, or a political realm. Strengthening our students' skills in communications and recognizing the nuances of other cultures, will distinguish them from others and help them as they navigate their careers as adults.
-“We are proud to sponsor this program. We live in a global economy today and it is important for students to be exposed to different cultures. This program prepares them for college and life, and greatly enriches the DCDS experience.”
- Kappy and David Trott
Students who participate in our Global Community Program will take part in a 10-15 day trip during a school break which includes a family stay, attending a sister school, and various day trips in the area of their chosen destination. Host schools find the host families for the visiting students and faculty. The host school also organizes activities for the visiting students which may be at the school or in the area (historical and cultural sites, sports venues, etc.). This arrangement is also true when the students from our sister schools come to visit Detroit Country Day School.
Currently, our sister schools are:
- Kousen High School in Kusatsu, Japan
- Gymnasium Oberursel in Oberursel, Germany
- Lycée La Rochefoucauld in Paris, France
- Instituto d'Istruzione Superiore "Ciufelli-Einaudi" in Todi, Italy
- Col.legi Mare de Déu del Carme in Terrassa, Spain.
The most obvious benefit will first be to the DCDS community. Students and faculty will have the opportunity to learn about other cultures and their educational systems from direct contact with the visiting students and their chaperones. The LS, JS, and MS will benefit from visits and possible culture presentations by foreign students. The extended DCDS community – our students’ families – will benefit tremendously, especially if they host a student. When a family hosts a foreign student, they are opening not only their homes but their hearts as well. The incredible learning experience often has far-reaching implications which are not immediately realized, and the families and guest students often form bonds which may last a lifetime.
DCDS student expenses vary according to each trip. Students are responsible for their own airfare, land transportation, hotels, travel insurance, meals away from the host families, and souvenirs. When staying with the host families, meals are provided at no extra cost, and the host families often pay for additional activities.
Travel arrangements for all trips are made through a travel agency which has a longstanding relationship with Detroit Country Day School.
The Director of the DCDS Global Community Program, Jacquelin Riley, will work in tandem with the DCDS chaperones of each trip to determine trip dates, transportation, and parent/student meeting dates. The director will also work with the visiting schools to plan the dates of their visits to DCDS and the activities while at DCDS. For more information, you may contact Jacquelin Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From recent participants:
"Go in with an open mind. Your life in (your new country) will be much different." - Justin L. '17
My favorite part of the exchange was getting to experience the lifestyle and what it would be like to live there. Anyone can go on a trip and be a tourist, but you get to see something totally different when you stay with a family. I also really liked getting to spend time with kids from our school that I don't normally spend time with and also met some really nice people in France." - Heather Z. '18
Advice to DCDS students considering participating:
Do it! You only get this opportunity once. If I was able to go back next year, I would without hesitation. It was the most amazing experience for me, and I know anyone who decides to go will feel the same way. - Melissa M. '17
Don't hesitate to do the exchange programs. They are unbelievable! - Connor M '17
Excellent planning and organizing. It's a very good opportunity to learn from a different perspective in allowing the child to understand the diversity in language, culture, lifestyle, etc., and yet understand the fact that certain things are in common for each one of us. - Kalyani and Nagarjun M.
The highlight of the exchange was to see the perspective on how people live in other countries, the day-to-day small differences as well as larger cultural differences-food, social norms, views on education, politics, views of the United States. Having my daughter realize these differences from the firsthand experience was far more impactful than reading or studying about them in school. - Ella K.