The Brooks School Exchange Program, founded in 1986, promotes the global education of students from Brooks and its partner schools in Kenya, Uganda, Botswana, Hungary, Scotland, Spain, France and Peru. By living abroad as residents in other school communities, our students are challenged to extend themselves to another place, another culture, another people – and, most importantly, to be affected by them, to be changed by them.We are confident that experiencing this transformative process of enculturation makes our students more empathetic and engaged global citizens.
|While the exchanges provide participants with the opportunity to travel, the primary goal is to allow them to immerse themselves in schools that are quite different from their own. Exchange students face a series of demanding expectations: Even as they keep up with assignments from their own institutions, they must take a demanding load of classes at their host school. They are ambassadors for their schools and their countries. Given differences in curricula, language barriers, and the fact that partner schools do not place the emphasis on competitive sports that Brooks does, students are challenged in a variety of ways. Thus, the partnerships have enabled students to expand horizons and interests and to grow personally as well as academically.|
Activities | Beyond the classroom, students participate in a variety of activities, including sports, music, art and community service. Students are also encouraged to pursue their individual interests that engage them in broader communities. In Kenya, Brooks students at Alliance Girls recently volunteered on weekends at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, where they nursed orphaned baby elephants to health and a return to the wild.
Academics | At our partner schools, students attend classes daily. They join class activities, take tests and quizzes, and write papers — very similar to what they would be doing here at Brooks. Selection of classes varies by school, but Brooks students take the equivalent of four majors. At Colegio Trener in Lima, exchange students take part in Spanish language immersion in history, literature, math, science and drama courses.
Excursions | To extend the parameters of the classroom, our partner schools organize excursions, both close to and far afield from school. Such trips provide Brooks students with unforgettable experiences within their host countries. In Uganda, Brooks students have gone gorilla tracking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, on safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and to Lake Victoria, Murchison Falls, and the source of the White Nile.
Support | Exchange coordinators at each of our partner schools take care of our Brooks students and oversee the complete range of their activities. The exchange coordinators are at the center of our students’ exchange experience. John Wright of Glenalmond College has been with the exchange program since its inception. John taught at Brooks for a time in the late 1970s and has been on the faculty of the Latin Department at Glenalmond for more than three decades.
Host Familes | The homestay is the heart of the program in Hungary, giving students the opportunity to experience the daily rhythms of life and family relations as few visitors are able to do. Through their host families, students learn about Hungarian culture and traditions, including everything from diet to family celebrations. More importantly, they form personal relationships that serve to anchor their experience of Szeged and Hungary — relationships that often last a lifetime.
Service | Since its inception in 1986, community service has been a compelling and powerful part of the exchange experience. In Botswana, Maru-a-Pula School has a well-developed community service program in which Brooks students participate. Brooks students have volunteered in local health facilities, women’s shelters, and AIDS orphanages.
For more information, please contact Exchange Program Director John McLoughlin, 978-725-6275, or Exchange Program Assistant Director Susan Cameron, 978-725-3235.