GISSV's bilingual education exposes our students to other cultures and perspectives on a daily basis. To complement the school experience, we are offering a variety of exchange programs that support and enhance our students' understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity.
Every year, students have the opportunity to go abroad and spend some time at our partner schools in Dresden/Germany, Valparaiso/Chile and Bordeaux/France. While at the partner schools, students stay with a host family, which enables them to not only learn about a different school system and to strengthen their language skills, but also to closely experience the way of life in their host country.
Vice versa, students from our partner schools come to GISSV each year, thus creating a true cultural exchange. The return visits give our students the opportunity to experience their home through a new perspective and introduce their international peers to life in the Bay Area.
The Dresden exchange enables our students to fully immerse themselves in the German language and culture for three months. It is designed for 9th grade students, however, exceptional students have the opportunity to go to Dresden in 10th grade and attend university courses through the University of Dresden's program for outstanding high school students ("Schueleruniversitaet
"). Participation in this program is contingent upon teacher recommendation.
The three-week exchange program with our partner schools in Chile and France is open to students in 9th and 10th grade. The Bordeaux exchange is for students who elected French as their third language in 6th grade, and the Valparaiso exchange is for students whose third language is Spanish.
All three exchange programs are being offered annually. The Chile and France exchange programs take place in the Spring. Students from our partner school in Dresden come to GISSV in the beginning of each school year (mid-August to mid-November), with the return visit of GISSV students in Dresden taking place at the end of the year (mid-March to mid-June).
Families who participate in the exchange program are asked to host an exchange student from our partner school in return for their child(ren)'s stay with a foreign host family. Hosting a student whose family your child(ren) stay with during their time abroad fosters strong bonds and mutual cultural understanding among the students who come to know their respective family and school lives, thereby contributing to an enriching and educational experience not only in the classroom but also beyond.