Become a Partner!

Educators need help. Closing the “global gap” and creating future-ready global citizens require more than a parent/teacher/student alliance; we need business partners to offer training, support and innovation.  Partner with the European Union and Smith middle school to support teacher /student learning on European soil. Acknowledgement of your support will be on every piece of publicity we generate as well as on the documentary produced by an award-winning journalist.

Learn more about our European Exchange by clicking here

Our 2013 seminars will focus on global health and wellness and economic stability. We will travel with an expert economist who will help our children understand both American and European healthcare systems as well as the current economic situation. If you have a company location in France, with your invitation, we will visit it next March. Click here for the March 2013 trip details.

Most importantly, we will be traveling with a disabled student, and this experience will open the travelers’ eyes to barriers to movement as well as innovations for future global health.

Click here for a flyer for partnership

If you would like to make a donation, please address it to the Public School Foundation with Smith’s Belgian exchange in the subject line.

Click here for a letter from a prospective traveler who is disabled and who requires scholarship funds. Find out why this is important from a parent’s perspective- click here.

READ MORE from our middle school students who want to learn more about Europe.

7 Responses so far.

  1. admin says:

    Tori- 8th grade

    Next year, as we all know, the Belgian Exchange group is going to Belgium. I would really like
    to be a part of the experience.
    Going on the trip next year would be very beneficial to me. If I was chosen to go on the trip, I
    would learn so many new things. I believe I would learn about the Belgian culture. We already
    learned some things about the country of Belgium. But I would like to learn about the people of Belgium. At least, I could learn little things like how people act, what they eat, and what’s in
    style (fashion wise). I’m fascinated with people of different cultures. Since I live with Americans
    and I know how they act, I’d like to learn about other people.
    While on the trip I also would like to learn about Normandy. I know some, but very few things
    about the beach of Normandy. It seems very interesting to learn historical information about
    other countries.
    If I were to go on this trip, I would have a little bit of background knowledge about the trip
    because my cousin Hannah. She told me about all of the fun she had on the trip, also she
    explained to me about the great sights in Belgium (and the places her host took her). I would
    really like to experience some of these things for myself.
    I believe, along with my background knowledge, I would bring great laughs to the group. I feel
    really comfortable with my French class. When my mom passed, they were there for me. So
    ever since then, I’ve really appreciated them. Since I get along with my classmates well, Id like
    to get to know them better. So the trip would be a great time to do that, and the trip would be really enjoyable to me.
    Without having my phone on the trip, I believe I would enjoy the trip more. I know my phone
    would be a great distraction for me, that’s why I’m glad were not allowed to have our phones.
    It’s kind of like a challenge for myself, but it comes with a benefit. Since communication is
    basically the main reason for this trip, I could communicate face-to-face with Belgians, rather
    than being on electronics.
    I would really enjoy going to Belgium with my classmates. This experience would be very
    beneficial to me, since most children don’t get to go to Europe with their school. I appreciate
    the fact that you take time out of your life to organize this trip for your students. It’s probably
    stressful, getting everything arranged for the students benefits. So, thank you for doing this,
    and presenting me with this opportunity.

    • Lina says:

      Salut ! Je m’appelle Lina, je suis la correspondante d’Hannah, tu dis qu’elle est deja venu en Belgique ? Is that true ?
      PS’ je me rejouis de vous voir ! You and Hannah and everyone ! 😀 Bye.

      • Hannah says:

        Bonjour Lina!!! C’est Hannah. Nous n’avons pas déjà venu en Belgique. Nous allons en mars et avril 2013. Je ne peux pas attendre pour venir te voir, Tara et tout le monde! 🙂

  2. admin says:

    Vivian L. said…
    I have always wanted to visit another country. Although I did not know that by taking French, I might have an opportunity to visit a French speaking country. The chance that I may be able to visit Belgium makes my choice of choosing French as my language elective, that much rewarding. Especially since it will give me the opportunity to see another culture from my own. Also, having the opportunity to speak the French I know, with people who speak it fluently and as their native language.
    If I get the opportunity to go to Belgium I hope to learn more about the people, and their culture. By visiting different parts of Belgium, I also hope to learn and experience how people travel in Belgium. It will be a great experience for me to visit important sites, and to taste their food, while appreciating the things that are similar and those that are different from the American culture. With this kind of opportunity, it will also allow me to visit a different part of the world, which I probably would not have had an opportunity to visit.
    A skill that I am able to bring to the group is teamwork. Since I already attend French classes with my classmates, the idea of traveling together will bring us even more close. And because we will be in a foreign country, we will basically know only each other better and therefore work as a team. This experience will also teach me how to work with my peers in a different way. I personally hope to bring my teamwork skills to the group, and even my ability to appreciate other cultures.
    As a young person, I know that technology can be a big distraction because I’m so used to having it around me all the time. So I understand why it’s not a good idea to bring technology on this trip. This advantage will allow us to learn more by listening and observing things that will be going on around us. But if we had technology, it would be like we hadn’t left home, with its distractions.

  3. admin says:

    Rebecca Z said…
    I would love to be a part of the Belgian exchange program because it would be a really fun and educational experience. Also, I think it would be different travelling with your friends and classmates instead of travelling with your family and friends. Going on the trip would change my world because I would finally use and apply the French I have learned and hear native speakers speak it. Being in France and Belgium would change my perspective and create my own opinions about the countries.

    If I go on this trip I would like to visit my pen-pal’s school, Saint-Benois Servais, because she always talks very fondly about it. So I would really like to see what it’s like. I hope to learn and experience the every day rituals and schedule of a typical French or Belgian Student. It would be interesting to be able to see and compare the differences and I would also look forward to seeing the famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. IT would be an amazing experience the be able to go to the top and overlook all of Paris. I would also be amazing to walk around the Louvre and see the endless paintings and vivid sculptures, especially being an art enthusiast myself. Tasting the many foods of France and Belgium would also be really exciting. Belgian would also be really exciting. Eating foods like escargo that are almost impossible to find in the United States would be an once in a life time experience. I love crepes, they are my favorite dessert, so it would be really cool to eat one where they originated.

    In a group situation I can bring my problem solving and conversational skills. First, I love to talk so it wouldn’t be hard for me to start a conversation with anyone. Also, I’ve been on many family vacations so when there is a problematic situation, I know how to stay calm and evaluate the situation.

    There are many adventures of travelling without technology. First, it would help us focus more on what is going on around us rather then being zoned in on out electronics. Without technology, students are forced to interact and communicate more. Secondly, it would be safer and less of a burden. It would decrease the chance of being robbed and lessen the burden as well. I would really love to be a part of the 2013 exchange trip.

  4. admin says:

    Matt S. said…
    Being a part of an exchange like this would change my views of the world, forever. I haven’t been out of the country and a trip like this will definitely influence the way I perceive the world. I feel like the more you know about other cultures, the more you can benefit yours. People all over the world have many different view but the core issues are all the same. Going on an international trip like this would expose me to a multitude of different people and their stories. The more I know about people that are different than who I see everyday the more I know how to act as a person and be the best that I can be. I can learn from ones that live much simpler lives, which will teach me the core values of life that we have strayed farther and farther away from in the past few decades.
    I think this last point is why you do not want us to bring technology. We are so caught up in trying to perfect our virtual image without worrying about the real world. Technology can be a great learning tool but nowadays we are so addicted to these glowing screens. Traveling without technology will let us spend more time talking with our Belgian hosts and just learning about the similarities and differences of American and European life. In Paris the lack of technology would make it easier to really appreciate the history and wonders of the old city. It will challenge me to speak using personal skills only and not an app of some sort to get around. I was surprised and really confused when I first learned that we will be traveling without technology. But after I thought about it there are so many benefits of not using technology. It would just get in the way of our learning and not push us to rely on our own abilities to get by.
    Being in Team C I know a lot about a small number of students and far fewer teachers. To be in a foreign country with people my age trying to get around requires a lot of social skills. You need to be willing to listen to other people while still contributing to the goal of getting by in a country that requires knowledge of their culture. I really love talking to people and working with them. I would be honored to be able to experience a trip like this with my peers. France and Belgium are beautiful countries that I would love to share with some old friends and some new.
    In France and Belgium I want to experience the whole package. I don’t want to walk around looking at all the famous landmarks, but rather seeing all of the great cities like Paris and Brussels. That is why I feel that people that don’t travel abroad don’t understand the cultures. You can read so many different books and see as many pictures as possible but you don’t get that same experience. I want to learn how these cities were marks of innovation, and lived through hard times. I am very interested in politics so if I get the opportunity to go on the trip, my favorite part would be learning about how the EU functions as one. How all these different countries can have one organization represent them would show me how Americans can work together much like the EU and be a stronger nation.
    My mother taught me the quote, “You don’t know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes”. In a sense this is why I want to go on this trip. I want to walk that mile.

  5. admin says:

    Claire Y said…
    To go on this trip, more than 50 students, including me, have written essays, attended weekly Euro Club meetings, sold ducks for fundraising, and volunteered to help out at Europe Day. It’s been a great experience, and if I am able to go, I would be extremely ecstatic.

    Participating on this Belgian exchange will greatly change my world, because I have the chance to test my French abilities I gained the past year to its extent. I get the opportunity to communicate face-to-face with my pen pal, which gives me obstacles that merely writing to my pen pal didn’t give me. This will challenge me, and help me increase my French speaking skills. Not only will this benefit my French speaking skills, but seeing the wonders of Belgium and France will open my eyes to things I had never seen or even noticed before. I will understand what it sounds like to have a real conversation in French, and the people around me speaking in French will encourage me to want to speak the beautiful language. I get the chance to put things I learned in class into real life situations. For instance, if I go shopping, I would be able to ask how much something costs, or what my total is. Not only will I be able to say things, but I will understand things. Getting to experience things the same things that my pen pal experiences will allow me to fully understand her, and we would have more topics to talk about. I can make contrasts of America and Belgium, and really know what our differences and similarities are.
    Instead of looking at the one in the classroom, I hope I get the opportunity to visit the real Eiffel Tower. I would like to go shopping not only to see what the difference of prices in America and France are, but to see what European fashion is like. I basically want to be able to make comparisons between America and France/Belgium, so that my French learning will be enhanced. I want to visit museums to learn about the art and history of Europe, so I can make relations of Europe and America. I hope to practice enough French so that I advance my fluency in French, and I will quickly interpret what people are saying in French. I hope that I will grow a stronger connection with my pen pal, and our letters and conversations over the internet will be more interesting and include more vocabulary.
    I have played sports on teams, and I feel like I work well in teams. I know that I will have to cooperate, and that if I go on the trip, everyone will be making contributions, not just me. I have great leadership skills, and I have a good loud voice that comes in handy in many situations. I am creative, I can adapt easily to new cultures, and I can use the resources around me to help me achieve things that I need to. I feel good about working on teams, but like the fact that not too many people are attending the exchange program, so things don’t get out of hand.
    One of the advantages of not being permitted to bring electronics on the trip is that students will be obligated to talk to their pen pals the whole time, instead of burying their faces in their iPods or laptops to avoid conversation and the hardships of speaking French. This will greatly challenge us and help us face our fears of speaking in French. Another advantage is that we will be closed out of America, and get to soak in every detail of France and Belgium. We won’t keep on thinking about our friends and family, but instead, we will truly have the feeling that we are living the life of a Belgian.

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