We want to give a big thank you to Tennyson alum, Rachel, who gave a great presentation and answer lots of questions about her exchange experience. Thank you too to her mum, Karen Davies, who is currently co-chair of the Quebec 2021 team. Karen shared her thoughts on the fundraising for the trip and on hosting an exchange student. Rachel and Karen kindly offered to record their presentation for parents who couldn't make it to the meeting; we'll post it on the website when we get it. In the meantime, here is the Quebec 2021 Parent Presentation which is packed with useful information about the Quebec trip and the Quebec Futures Fund and Quebec Trip Document page which has all you need to know about planning and implementing the exchange.
The key take-aways from the discussion that followed are:
- Many parents are passionate about the exchange and believe its an invaluable opportunity for cementing language skills, building friendships and personal growth. These are great things we want to foster in our children.
- Most parents were reassured that the fundraising events for the for the trip are highlights of the Tennyson experience anyway (hot lunches, BBQs and Winterfest) so it's not too onerous.
- Some parents were surprised to learn that the exchange is an opt-in trip, not driven by the school, rather put together in partnership with administration and staff. As well, because we apply for a grant to fund part of the trip the school we are assigned changes every year.
- Some parents expressed concern that an exchange will be a stressful experiences for their child and that their child may be put in situations where their safety and/or well-being is compromised. For some this was based on previous Tennyson Quebec Exchanges.
- Some parents asked if the same benefits (cementing language skills, building friendships and personal growth) could be achieved from a trip rather than an exchange. Other parents asked if it was possible to forgo the grants and be paired with the same school each year instead.
Although no conclusions were drawn, it was good to have a conversation about something that is so important for all our children. Please feel free to post comments here to share you opinion. All voices are welcome.