On August 25th, 2015, Kevin Miller, the new International Program Consultant, presented information to the SDJ Board of Education regarding the 2015 International Summer Institute. This year was a cultural and academic collaboration between international students and SDJ students held at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. This is the third year for the Institute; however, a pilot program was developed this year with UW-Whitewater, Center for Global Education to assist with room and board accommodations and to offer an American University experience.
Goals of this year’s program were to:
- Provide SDJ students the opportunity to collaborate with international students culturally, academically, linguistically, and socially;
- Offer SDJ teachers the opportunity for professional development by working with international students and American students together in the same classroom;
- Provide added revenue for SDJ;
- Serve as a tool for recruitment to fill our pipeline with future students; and
- Provide economic opportunities to the Janesville community.
The Institute gave international students a taste of SDJ, the City of Janesville and a brief look at what their future could be. There were 26 students, 3 SDJ teachers, 4 international teachers, and 3 global ambassadors serving as guides. Janesville students came from Craig, Parker and Rock University High School. International Students were from Liang Feng High School, Zhangjiagang, Jiangsu, China.
Curriculum included robotics, computer coding, math, science, ACT Prep, and English Language Development, Culture and Communications. They also participated in sports like volleyball, kickball, football, soccer, and Zumba. Field trips included a tour of our State Capitol in Madison, Old World Wisconsin, a local farm with hayrides (also roasting marshmallows and s’mores), shopping at Johnson Creek, pizza parties, and friendship.
Along with lifelong cultural experiences attained by our SDJ students, the program also brought an estimated net revenue of over $7,000, and enhanced our international relations.
I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in making this program such a success!