The world continues to get smaller. People travel more all over the world, technology; (especially the Internet) continues to “shrink” the world and recently international students have become more of a regular presence in most public and private schools.
Calvin too has experienced this. Over the past ten years, students from South Korea, China, and other countries have become part of the Calvin Christian family.
Recently this was manifested in a new way. Two weeks ago we received a call from a travel coordinator who was trying to arrange a visit to American schools for South Korean teachers and administrators. So, a few days later nearly 30 South Korean educators visited Calvin Christian for most of an afternoon. What they learned from us was matched by what I learned from them, especially from their questions and responses to our answers.
I learned that:
- American and South Korean schools are becoming more and more alike.
- Our curriculum impressed them, especially the implementation of Singapore Math and Spanish at the elementary level as well as our wide variety of offerings and A.P. classes for a small high school.
- The high percentage of our graduates who attend college surprised them.
- That we offer four years of a foreign language pleased them. Their impression was we didn’t emphasize foreign language in America much at all.
- Our “short” school year surprised them. They have much longer academic years and days. Their students often attend school until late in the afternoon.
- Our vision for connecting faith and learning was asked about a lot. The Christian teachers among them were very impressed with how we do that so clearly.
- They were also very interested in our plans for technology. In this area they feel we were “behind but catching up.”
- It was interesting to learn that more and more South Korean students are attending university than ever before and many want to come to American universities.
- I was struck by the common values of Christians from all over the world.
It was a fascinating to spend time with them. The world is indeed getting smaller. We can learn from people all over the world. More than ever we know that it is good that we have exposure to International students and educators at Calvin Christian.