Spanish Exchange Program
Students at MND are exposed to many cultural opportunities throughout their World Languages studies.
As part of the Spanish IV curriculum, students must complete eight hours of service and community involvement. They may choose to attend mass in Spanish, tutor native speakers, salsa dance on the square or volunteer at the annual Hispanic Festival are a few options the students have.
Spanish students of all levels have the opportunity for European travel as well. In 2005 Moeller High School asked MND students to partner with them to travel to Zaragoza, Spain. Toward the end of the school year, freshmen and sophomores who are studying Spanish I or II are given a short presentation by the students who participated in this program in the past. All interested students apply and those who meet the requirements have their applications turned over to a team of MND staff who read and rank them. Based on the application and teacher recommendations, four are invited to participate. Once chosen, students are then immersed in the culture for approximately five weeks in the months of January and February.
Students live with host families and actually attend Santa Maria Marianist High School. There they are encouraged to speak as much Spanish as possible. In addition to school in Zaragoza, they must maintain their coursework at MND and keep regular contact with their Spanish class through a weekly email written in Spanish that shares their experiences.
The following school year the Spanish students who were hosts become students at MND. While in attendance they share of their culture with all students, offering presentations to MND students throughout their visit.
MND has been working with Santa Maria del Pilar School in Zaragoza, Spain for nine years with their school-year exchange program. In 2013, MND added a summer exchange program to give more students immersion opportunities. Students chosen to be part of the exchange program go through a selection process that includes an evaluation of academic and attendance records, teacher input, application and interview.
French Exchange Program
The French Exchange Program runs similarly to the Spanish Exchange Program. Students are chosen through application to travel to host school, Sainte Marie in Belfort, France. Students experience France first hand by living with host families and attending classes. November of 2014 was the second phase of the first exchange program to France. Last Spring was the first phase, in which the host students from France stayed with the MND students. The annual French Exchange Program starts in February when a new group of MND students will host students from Belfort, France.
MND Summer Abroad Travel
Another exciting opportunity for MND students is the Summer Educational Travel experience through ACIS. MND students and teachers take a 12 day trip to Spain, France, and England. Highlights include riding the AVE (high speed train), taking a Flamenco Lesson, seeing a show in Madrid, enjoying a Bike Tour and participating in a cooking contest in Barcelona.
Additionally, the Spanish Exchange Program has opened up a new summer abroad trip to Zaragoza, Spain. Students are now able to travel during the summer and participate in a two way exchange program not during the school year.
Click HERE to link to the MND International Exchange Programs page for more details.
Mount Notre Dame Abroad with Model United Nations
The Mount Notre Dame mission statement provides the cornerstone for the educational experience we provide to our students. One of our school’s strongest international programs is the Model United Nations organization. Model United Nations is a simulation of an official United Nations conference in which delegates debate a topic of world concern while representing different countries’ positions. Through debate, negotiation, and compromise a peaceful resolution is reached and put into effect. Our high school team participates in international conferences here in the U.S. and around the world. The conferences build teamwork, encourage foreign language and studies, introduce our students to foreign ways of life and thought, and create an opportunity to experience foreign countries first hand and meet international students. These are the types of opportunities that expand our students’ minds beyond what we can provide in the classroom, and are truly life-changing experiences. Annually, we attend and compete in Model United Nations sponsored by the University of Dayton and the University of Chicago, as well as one global event. This year we will travel to Lisbon where we will be the only Americans. Last year we traveled to Leiden Netherlands where we were the only American participants; and, other past events include the Model APEC at the University of Cincinnati and BERMUN in Berlin, Germany.
In addition to these events, our Model United Nations organization hosts an annual Model United Nations event for over 150 regional junior high students. The purpose of this conference is to acquaint junior high students with the UN processes, develop communication, leadership, and research skills, as well as learn about global issues. Delegates learn how to be effective negotiators making compromises, while still maintaining the country’s stance on the issue.
Students at MND embrace the opportunities to explore different cultures beyond the walls of a classroom!