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Students from Kazakhstan Arrive for Cultural Exchange

July 20th, 2014

The Summer 2014 Kazakstan Cultural Exchange

A new group from Kazakhstan was welcomed on Monday, July 21, 2014 at South Kent School. This is the second group within a year from the country to come on a cultural exchange. Like the first, proposals were sent from multiple institutions and the government of Kazakhstan selected South Kent as host school for the visit.

This highly selective summer program, which runs for 3 weeks from July 21st to August 9, focuses on an introduction to American culture. Additionally, the curriculum is Mathematics and Science intensive. “Students will meet in 4 classes for 75 minutes per day, and they will have structured afternoon and evening activities,” Co-Director Kelli Darrin said. “An evening activity might be a study group, lab time or 1-on-1 time with a teacher.” In keeping with South Kent's tradition of technological advancement, each visiting student will be given an iPad to utilize during the stay at South Kent as well as when he or she arrives home.

Ms. Darrin, who is also South Kent’s Third Form Dean and English Department Coordinator, is leading the program alongside Dean of Academic and Student Affairs Phillip Darrin.

The student group will take on the Challenge-Based Learning approach which is embraced at South Kent, and will learn in areas such as economics, engineering, watershed management and sustainability. In addition to these subjects, a humanities class centered on water ethics and the usage of water will be taught by Ms. Darrin.

Beyond the excellent faculty at South Kent, outside experts Fuss & O’Neill will work with the group and discuss the utilization of resources by taking local information and teaching the students to view it globally, so it can be applied back in Kazakhstan.

Of course, the eager learners will be able to take in some sightseeing with trips to Boston, New York City, the beach along the Atlantic Ocean, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), among other places. With South Kent’s close proximity to cities and attractions, it is easy to take students on a variety of short trips.

“We’re really excited to be the group behind this,” Ms. Darrin said. “We think that the program that we put together will be challenging academically to the students. Our hope is that this wonderful partnership continues into the future.”

Photos are posted here.

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