Sunday, August 30, 2009

Exchange Programs in KIS

The Christian Partner Exchange program at KIS seeks to establish worldwide links with schools, individuals and other potential partner organizations to facilitate cross cultural learning experiences. The program is consciously linked with the Christian identity of Kodaikanal International School as outlined in Design ‘94 and therefore encourages students not only to develop academically and socially but also spiritually. Through this program, KIS gives students the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in a different culture for up to one semester – studying, living and learning in a new and different environment from what they have experienced before. At present, KIS participates in exchange programs in 3 different countries.In Germany, students have the opportunity to study for one semester at Andreum Gymnasium in Hildescheim. This school has a strong English program yet the medium of instruction for most classes is German, giving students the prospect of becoming fluent in German in one semester. Students are hosted by exchange partner families to learn what daily life is like for these families. (The German ‘partner’ comes and studies in Kodai and stays in the dorm while they are here).

The Australian exchange is hosted by Carey Baptist Grammar school in Melbourne. The school has generously initiated a full scholarship exchange where all costs, including airfares, are covered by this institution. During this exchange, students are required to choose some IB courses in preparation for entering grade 11 upon returning to KIS. For this exchange a stringent interview process is adhered to as we seek to select students who will not only benefit greatly from this generous opportunity, but who will also represent KIS well.

The third opportunity KIS currently makes use of is a summer exchange with two schools in the Netherlands. For four weeks, a group of students experience the cultural differences that abound between the Netherlands and India as they participate in family life and attend a Dutch school.

The most recent initiative of the school in this area is the development of a new, Council approved program for post-secondary school students. Route 14:6 seeks to provide the space for 12 young adults to live in an intentional community in Kodaikanal in order to take time out from school and university or work to reflect on what it means for them to be a follower of Jesus in the world today. It is envisioned that the program participants enjoy interaction with school students daily as well as travelling to different places in South India where a variety of service opportunities present themselves. The program seeks to adopt a holistic approach to spiritual development in the ways of Jesus, looking at the various aspects of discipleship – mixing devotion and practice.

Participating in an exchange is something that a student will never forget. Overall, these experiences stretch the hearts and minds of KIS students as they become more aware of their responsibility to the local community and to the world.

We are currently seeking to expand our program so if you or your school is interested in enquiring about any of the programs mentioned above, or developing an exchange partnership with KIS, please contact Cath.

Cath Butler
Exchange Program Liaison