The SIP exchange program began in 1985 and was started by Madeline Ehrlich, the founder of Advocates for Language Learning National. El Marino has enjoyed more than 20 years of academic and cultural exchange between El Marino SIP students and students from Guadalajara, Mexico.
The exchange program comprises two separate exchanges each year and each is three weeks long. Our students spend three weeks with a host family in Guadalajara and attend school at either Colegio La Calma or Instituto Copernico and, in reciprocation, each child and his or her family hosts a student from one of the Guadalajara schools for two weeks.
Each student is matched with a host family and spends three weeks attending school, exploring the sights and experiencing the culture of their home away from home. Two adult chaperones, usually parents or school administrators, accompany each group. This is a wonderful capstone opportunity for students who elect to participate. Most return from their adventure with a broader view of the world, a deeper appreciation for the differences and similarities between cultures, great stories, new friends and family, and tremendously enhanced language skills.
For many SIP students the exchange program is a capstone experience to their language learning at El Marino. While in Guadalajara, our students have the opportunity to be part of a Mexican family, experience school in a foreign country, try new foods, absorb a rich culture, and see some of sights of the host country.
Students apply for the program in late winter or early spring while they are in 4th grade. Before applications are distributed, 4th graders are invited to an assembly to kick off the following year’s exchange. Parents of interested 4th graders will also be invited to a meeting around this same time. It’s not too early to begin discussing the possibility with your child. There are also plenty of opportunities to be involved in the exchange program for families who chose not to send their child to Guadalajara. The program is always looking for families who are willing to host a child or a chaperone for a month.
The Japanese Immersion Program Exchange started with its first exchange trip to Japan in 1997. Four students from the first graduating class of the Japanese Immersion Program, along with Horiba Sensei and a chaperone, headed off to Kaizuka, Japan for a two week stay. Since that first successful trip, we have had many more trips to Kaizuka Japan with the 5th grade Japanese Immersion Class.
The Japan Exchange Group is always busy planning and conducting fundraisers. Traveling to Japan is expensive, and funds are raised to cover chaperone costs, group expenses and other administrative expenses. Individual student expenses, such as airfare and spending money, are not covered by the fundraising.
Look for the famous confetti eggs at the Fiesta La Ballona, Tupperware parties, Sees chocolate bars sales, Car Washes, Rummage Sales, Japanese Soap sales, and lots of other creative fundraising ideas!
A fun-filled fundraiser every fall!
2017-2018 Chair: Leena Dayal
Questions? – email firstname.lastname@example.org