It has been an exciting spring full of worldly infusions at Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation (MVCSC). A total of 12 teachers from Taiwan and Germany and 22 students from Germany all traveled to Mt. Vernon recently as part of the MVCSC International Exchange program. The program has now grown to include multiple visitors from Germany, Taiwan, China, Spain, and South Korea. View the photo gallery HERE.
The Germans stayed with Mt. Vernon host families and had two busy weeks filled with educational experiences and fun adventures in Indiana. The Taiwanese chose to stay in a nearby hotel and experienced a week where they learned about the American education system and Fortville/Indianapolis attractions.
As the students and teachers arrived in Chicago, they were able to spend time seeing the skyscrapers, visit attractions such as the bean-shaped sculpture (the Cloud Gate), and try some famous Chicago pizza. After Chicago, they made their way on a school bus to Fortville, Indiana.
On the first evening, the students and teachers arrived at Mt. Vernon and went on a tour of the high school and even made their way outside to the new turf football field. To end their day, they met their host families at the MVCSC Administration building for a welcome dinner, a short presentation and to converse with their new American friends.
The Taiwanese teachers and Superintendent Dr. Robbins visited Albert Chen, CEO of the Telamon Corporation, where they received a tour and lunch. Chen is formerly from Taiwan and shared with the teachers the benefits of being an entrepreneur that is headquartered in Indiana. His telecommunications company has grown into a $800 million business with 1,800 employees and 13 locations in the United States, China and Mexico.
Both the Germans and Taiwanese participated in local activities together, such as a visit to Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI). The international visitors toured the campus and learned what an American university has to offer, including living on the campus, the variety of academic classes, and the many available activities. The Germans particularly were surprised with the dorm rooms, as sharing rooms is not common in Germany. The Office of International Affairs also set up an interactive student panel for all the international guests. The day was capped off with a visit to the Old Spaghetti Factory and a Pacers Game.
After visiting many Mt. Vernon High School (MVHS) classrooms throughout their visit, all international visitors also took in various activities together, such as local shopping, a lap around the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the Children’s Museum. German students shadowed various MVHS students, and the Taiwanese took a quick tour of Carmel High School as well.
A “World Language Fair” at MVHS capped off the Taiwanese visit. A variety of foods and activities such as calligraphy lessons, karaoke, and chopstick games entertained and educated MVHS students and the international guests. Both the German group and the Taiwanese shared a traditional song and/or dance from their country on stage. Standing ovations from the MVHS students were given with some hoots and hollers of support.
Throughout the German’s second week, the exchange students and teachers experienced an Indians baseball game, a shopping trip to Castleton Mall, and a trip to the Indianapolis Zoo. Some of the students helped host an episode of MVTV as well (click HERE to watch it)! The German students were also able to experience an event that is not held in Germany: prom! This was a special experience for the Germans as they only were familiar with the American prom they see in movies.
All international guests were able to learn a multitude of perspectives about high school in America and experienced many attractions while in Indiana. Many of the guests were not ready to leave America. The next step: a return visit with MVCSC students! Mt. Vernon is creating cultural opportunities for students throughout the world!