Xperitas Blog Archive

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Xperitas Experience Archive


Welcome to the Xperitas blog archive. Find teacher, student and family perspectives on language and cultural immersion travel. You can also find useful tips for traveling abroad and past Xperitas news and events. Inspired to tell your story? We would love to hear how language immersion travel has transformed your life. Travel joyfully!

Transformational Travel for Over 50 Years

Deep, Trusting and Treasured Relationship

The commitment that everyone involved in the organization has to help teachers and students have the richest possible experience is nothing short of remarkable.

Our Path Forward

Executive Director, Leslie Gale, discusses the human drive to survive and thrive despite difficult circumstances.

The Power of Immersion Travel

Recently, we profiled Xperitas Board member and retired French Teacher, Jane Ditewig. Jane was and is a much beloved teacher at R.A. Long High School in Longview Washington. This summer Jane heard from Brad Carnine, one of her students from more than 20 years ago. He said we could share his letter with you. We hope every teacher who reads this letter is reminded of what an important job you do and how you all are changing the lives of your students.

Much More Than a “Trip”

At Xperitas, we aren’t in the business of sending students on “trips”.  Our mission is to transform lives through shared global experience and intercultural learning.   What does it take for travel abroad to be transformational?  It needs to be an experience that pushes students beyond their comfort zone, challenges them to confront their assumptions about the world and allows them to see themselves and others from a different perspective.

Connecting People & Culture

Board Member, Jan Ditewig, grew up in a small town in Washington and was always drawn to languages. When the family across the street hosted a French exchange student, she seemed exotic and fascinating to Jane. Read about her language immersion experiences and journey to becoming a language teacher.

A Student's Perspective

In 8th grade middle school, I had to pick a language to study, and being half Mexican, my mom wouldn’t let me take Spanish since I already used it in my everyday home life. So, my only other option was French. At that point, I never thought I’d take it with me after high school, but I was very wrong.  Read Mercedes story.

Cultural Literacy

Board Member, Carolyn Vanous, shares her story about traveling abroad as a student and her perspective of its value with future employers.

Erica Besser's Experience

My name is Erica Besser and I attend Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. I will be a senior this upcoming year and start my first year in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program. I went on my trip in January of 2019 and had an amazing time.

Service-learning & Student Development

Read this interview with Julie Rogers Bascom, a service-learning leader from Minneapolis, MN. She has been helping youth workers, teachers and young people to use service-learning as a strategy to solve problems in their communities for over 17 years.

A Two-Way Street

This June, The Blake School, an independent high school in Minneapolis, departed for a Mandarin Chinese immersion program with Xperitas. The educational journey was a result of a year of preparation planning between the school’s language department, Xperitas and our partners in Asia to develop a six-week-long program.

A Family Tradition

Xperitas team members bumped into Jill Gabel, of Fargo, North Dakota, at a recent parent meeting we attended at an area high school. Jill was a high school student participant in a French immersion program thirty years ago with ISE (now Xperitas), and now has two sons in our programs.

Building a Successful Immersion Program

Barbara Koester's first travel group started small, with only two students from her school. Now, 31 years later, her travel group has grown to 28 students. We asked her advice for high school language teachers looking to get an immersion program approved, and how to turn that program into a consistent success.

Exceeding Expectations

I have been collaborating with Xperitas since 2008 to take my Spanish students overseas, and I cannot imagine working with a more dedicated group of professionals.

Travel, Language Immersion, and Family Stay

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.

Extension of My Classroom

Over 20 years and 17 trips later, I can't imagine traveling with anyone else.

A Parent's Perspective

As a parent, you want to ensure your child’s family stay abroad will be safe, fun and life-changing in all the right ways. Jackie, parent of Sophia, a past France program participant, told us how attitude made the biggest impact on her daughter’s experience.

French Host Family Story

As a parent, you want to ensure your child’s family stay abroad will be safe, fun and life-changing in all the right ways. Jackie, parent of Sophia, a past France program participant, told us how attitude made the biggest impact on her daughter’s experience.

Edda's Experience

Xperitas Ambassador Edda P. shares her Spanish immersion experience and plans to incorporate her language skills into her goals for the future.

Christmas in France with My Host Family

This was to be my first Christmas away from home, and I was nervous. I was four-months into my first year in France, and though I was beginning to feel at home with my host family, I wasn’t sure I was ready to face their extended family yet. I discovered that this was an opportunity to learn and participate in new traditions.

As American as Pumpkin Pie

Most Americans in the United States are familiar with the expression “as American as apple pie.” However, it wasn’t until I studied abroad in France (and later lived and worked in France and Belgium) that I realized just how deeply rooted pumpkin pie, and more importantly the Thanksgiving holiday, was in my American upbringing.

My Second Family

Language immersion program participant, Anna Dolan, reflects on her Family Stay Experience®  with her host family in France.

2015 Alumni Scholarship Winner

Emilio Luna is the recipient of the 2015 Xperitas Alumni Scholarship. The following post is the essay Emilio wrote in his scholarship application about how the travel experience inspired him. It has been edited for length.

My French Family

Reflections of Hanna, a participant in our French language immersion program, of her time in France with her host family.

Girl peeking out a window

Share Your Language Immersion Experience

Whether you have traveled recently or long ago, your perspective is valuable to the Xperitas family of language and cultural immersion explorers. We travel for the love of language, but it is the connections we make along the way that stay within our hearts and minds. Send us your story today.