International Exchange Program
Using the power of Harkness learning to foster genuine cultural exchanges, The Hague School partners with international schools such as the Harkness Institutes in San Luis Potosi and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and Ikast-Brande Gymnasium, an IB school in Denmark, to offer an academically rigorous and culturally immersive experience unlike any available at other high schools in the region. Throughout the school year, students at The Hague School participate in live, interactive classes in courses ranging from Global Politics and Business Management to Global Culture & History.
This spring, our 11th grade class traveled to Denmark on an educational exchange trip to its newest sister school, Ikast-Brande Gymnasium, which offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. Deepening the multicultural experience was the fact that twelve students from our other sister school, the Harkness Institute in Mexico, met us in Denmark, so students from Norfolk, San Luis Potosí, and Ikast could share in a 10-day exchange. Touring historic sites in Copenhagen and in the rural regions around Ikast, attending classes with their host students, and living with Danish host families allowed for a truly immersive engagement with Danish culture and a deeper study of its history.
Last summer, nineteen students traveled to live, eat, and study with fifteen Mexican students in San Luis Potosi and Puebla, Mexico. Students from three countries studied together in a series of dual enrollment college courses to earn up to four college credits. Most importantly, these students worked together to learn and share each other’s culture in ways no segregated cohort of study abroad students can to develop relationships, cultural respect and awareness, and international collaboration.
In the program’s inaugural year, The Hague School hosted 17 international students who took Oceanography at Virginia Wesleyan University. Students from Norfolk, San Luis Potosí, and Puerto Vallarta shared dormitories and took this three week, college-level course that earned four hours of college credit. Through Harkness discussions, students not only learned the subject matter, but also made tangible connections, sharing ideas cross-culturally, and found common ground with people living in different parts of the world.