College Counseling Blog
Welcome to the College Counseling Blog by Chris Teare, Director of College Counseling, and Russell Althouse, Associate Director of College Counseling.
Planting Seeds to Study Abroad
Over the upcoming spring break, 15 students, Mrs. Barnett, Angel Montanez and I will be boarding a flight to Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, China as part of our cultural exchange program. We will have two weeks to learn more, firsthand, about a place and people with both a proud ancient culture and burgeoning present-day geopolitical significance. Our first hope is that our students will come back more informed about a country that plays an increasing role in our socioeconomically interdependent world. But we want more for them than this one trip: we want to them to want more travel and study.
In the College Counseling Office, we emphasize the latter point in the context of their upcoming transition to higher education. Study Abroad, usually undertaken for a semester or two during the junior year, has long been of tremendous value to undergraduates who have established their academic foundation at their college, then ventured forth into the wider world for immersive study in culture and language, as well as the academic majors they are pursuing. We hope that the upcoming trip will whet the appetites of our secondary school students for more such travel and study at the college level.
The trip might also be of value for those who will come to consider international options for their matriculation after graduation from Wardlaw+Hartridge. As but one example, New York University has still-young yet thriving programs in both Abu Dhabi and Shanghai; indeed, two W+H graduates are currently enrolled at the latter. In addition, Northeastern University’s N.U. in Program offers first-year students the opportunity the begin their studies in either Australia, Canada, England, Greece, Ireland, or Italy. On top of these possibilities, universities based in the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries in recent years have become especially eager to recruit students who have completed high school in the United States.
Educational experiences in our cultural exchanges, and in our Global Scholars program not only plant seeds for further study abroad; they can also lead to professional choices in decades to come. My new colleague in College Counseling, Mr. Chris Teare, recalls that a singing tour to Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East led, years later, to his seeking jobs abroad, and he decided to teach and provide college counseling at the International School of Brussels. He says a key factor that brought him to W+H is our remarkable internationalism, emphasizing that he did not know – 40 years ago – how much that trip would continue to shape his interest and curiosity about the world.
So, while in one sense we go off soon for just two weeks, we know that the experience our students will share may well inform their choices not only in daily life once back home, but in what they will do years from now, whether in college or in their careers. Those of us in the adult community who have been fortunate enough to travel abroad know that we never read the news quite the same way ever again. With the challenges before us, from climate change to international economics, over choices of war or peace, we at Wardlaw+Hartridge make these trips so our students know firsthand the world well beyond Inman Avenue. Time to pack soon!
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