The Grace International Exchange Program aims to promote international understanding by offering direct school exchanges between Grace Church School students and their counterparts abroad as well as foreign language immersion experiences for Grace Church School students learning a language. Our goal is for our students to transcend their American mindset, and, in doing so, to gain a greater perspective on the world, their own culture, and themselves.
Formally established in 2005, the Grace International Exchange Program is rooted in a 19-year relationship with Yukuhashi, a city in southern Japan. Our program now also includes school exchanges with Southwest Weiyu Middle School in Shanghai, China, and Vasant Valley School in New Delhi, India. Each year, interested groups of Grace Church School students in seventh and eighth grades and the High School Division enroll in elective courses to learn about the culture and history of the country they would like to visit. If offered a place on an exchange based on their work in the elective, they then spend two weeks living, studying, and traveling abroad, staying for one week as guests of a family from one of our partner schools overseas and then traveling in the host country for a second week. Grace Church School students also have the opportunity to host guests from our partner schools for one week each year.
Our program also includes language immersion trips to France and Spain for students in the seventh and eighth grades and the High School Division. The foreign language immersion experience is meant to linguistically and culturally reinforce the language they have been studying since the third grade. Students studying a language spend ten days living with a homestay family, attending academic classes in the mornings, sightseeing in the afternoons, and absorbing as much of the local culture and language as possible.