In this my 45th year and “senior” year of teaching French I’ve spent some time reflecting upon my career. It goes without saying that a key reason for my program’s success and popularity is the Xperitas partnership. In 1992, after a few disappointments travelling with a commercial company I was searching for an intercultural language, cultural and homestay experience for my students. I discovered ISE (now Xperitas) and have never looked back. Twenty-six years and over twenty student trips later my enthusiasm has never waned because each time I get to rediscover France with a new group. Marcel Proust wrote: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”.
Each of our “voyages” has been life changing for me as well as for my students.
The Xperitas mission speaks of transforming lives through shared global experience and intercultural learning. Mission accomplished in Longview, Washington and Poitiers, France! Our Xperitas planned school exchange has earned the accolades of students, families, administrations and communities, and the impact and connections reach well beyond the individuals traveling. I love hearing the stories of host families, teachers and students in both the French and American schools as they maintain communication long after suitcases have been unpacked.
Xperitas is exceptional for many reasons: student, teacher, and parent preparation, resource materials, personal itinerary planning, easy access to an expert program manager, financial aid for needy students, and the trifecta of travel, language immersion, and a family stay.
Jane Ditewig is a French instructor at R. A. Long High School in Longview, Washington.
At Xperitas, we work with teachers to provide their students with outstanding language and cultural immersion experiences. As a non-profit we are mission driven. We believe that when students have an authentic experience outside of the classroom, using their language skills in a different culture, they make a deeper cultural connection. Our programs are designed to inspire students to make personal connections with communities worldwide and gain greater cultural competency. The benefits of student language immersion travel abroad reported to us by teachers, parents and the students themselves are as follows:
- A better understanding of language and the nuance of dialect
- An understanding of language within the context of the culture
- A greater awareness of different perspectives
- A sense of increased independence, self-sufficiency, and cultural competence