What does hosting an exchange programme look like? 

Working in collaboration with a selected partner school, a class, or classes, will visit for two weeks staying with homestay host families and attending classes for 10 days within the UK school. Visiting students buddy up with students in their host family and immerse themselves within the school’s culture, participating in lessons and practicing language skills, whilst interacting at all times with fellow students.

Throughout the two-week immersion, there may also be visits and meetings with teachers from overseas that will accompany the groups. In these meetings educators can share best practice, and perhaps engage in training on EAL (English as an Additional Language). Through this, educators can continue to forge links between the schools, perhaps discussing curriculum, policy, and pedagogy moving forward.

Within the classroom, UK schools may use the two-week immersion programme to delve deeper into the curriculum in some subject areas. Examples of collaborative projects undertaken by UK and international students in the past during immersion programmes are as follows:

Students can present on a pre-agreed pertinent topic of global debate within an English, Citizenship or RE class, where different international perspectives can enable horizons to be broadened and new ideas to take shape.

Joint exhibitions of student art work reflecting international culture.

Lesson exchange – where language lessons are taught in the style of the lessons of the visiting school, or a visiting teacher takes a lesson in their style for the UK class.

Language lessons that involve interviewing and conversing with the visiting international students to enable maximum conversation and interaction in the language.

Sports lessons and tournaments/competitions that provide a great opportunity for students of different nationalities to work together to achieve a common goal.

Schools may choose to also have their students participate in extra-curricular classes across the two weeks that can be put on by visiting international teachers, that may highlight a particular area of culture from the visiting school. Examples of these classes could be: Mandarin Language, Calligraphy, and Tai Chi classes (specialties of our partner schools in China). Students from the UK and their buddy students are encouraged to keep in touch and continue to practice their language skills via school e-mail.

Schools have the opportunity to work with Opportunity Education further to organise a return exchange for UK students to the partner school in another country. Opportunity Education has the ability through its international network of schools to make this trip-of-a-lifetime a reality for some UK students that may never have been presented with this amazing opportunity before.