April 14, 2014 by Dr. Debra Colley
Yesterday morning, we visited the St. Paul International School Hanoi. The school houses a global community, where cultural and linguistic diversity meet to create a stimulating and creative learning environment. Students acquire English language skills while engaging in a rigorous general education curriculum.
St. Paul enrolls students from Pre-k to grade 12 and prepares them to matriculate into competitive universities in the United States and throughout the world. They offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses for students to help prepare them for the academic rigor and demand they will face in colleges and universities. Due to a growing enrollment, they are in the process of building a new school campus that will enroll 1,000 students.
As we toured the school and met with students and faculty, it was wonderful to see teachers implementing strategies which engage young people in learning; research-based strategies which have no boundaries! You will see the word wall in my photos!
It seems our visit may be the beginning of a relationship promoting an exchange of language and cultures. The students were so excited to have visitors from across the world — they would like us to be “pen pals,” and the teachers are interested in visiting our campus. Administrators are also interested in having our student-teachers and interns from other personnel support areas complete practical placements at St. Paul's.
Building partnerships between cultures and countries provide us with the opportunity to learn from the international environment and to expand our global perspective in order to provide our students at Niagara with a broader academic experience; providing exceptional educational opportunities on campus while extending our strengths abroad through learning partnerships with peer institutions in other countries.
I believe an exchange of students and scholars with institutions around the world will assist us in aligning our practices with a rapidly changing global community. No wonder our delegation had a difficult time getting me to leave the school!