TASIS junior Laura Vecoli’s goal of creating an exchange program between TASIS Switzerland and TASIS England has been realized, as 10 Switzerland students will travel to England from February 14-19 this year. Vecoli has been pursuing the program since the start of the school year, and she recently worked out the final details after earning the approval and support from each school’s Headmaster.
All 10 exchange students are from the ninth-grade class, and each will correspond with one student from England both during and after the trip in an effort to build a new relationship that will continue in the future.
“Our founder M. Crist Fleming spoke often about the importance of family and friendships, and she worked hard to create a unity between the family of TASIS schools,” said Vecoli. “We are sister schools but don’t know much about each other, so the purpose of this project is to unite the schools and build stronger relationships.”
The students making this year’s trip were selected primarily because of their interest in Drama, History, or Service Learning, and they will spend the first half of the trip enjoying cultural activities in London and the second half shadowing students at TASIS England. They hope to host their new friends in Switzerland next year.
Theater Director Valerie Bijur Carlson and English Teacher Matt Federico will lead the inaugural trip, and Vecoli, who needs to be in Spain that week to fulfill her International Baccalaureate requirements but plans to visit TASIS England next year, will be in close contact with them throughout. She will meet with the chaperones and students afterward to review the trip and begin working on improvements for next year.
“My hope is that this becomes an annual tradition at TASIS and will be an exciting event that many students are eager to participate in,” she said.