Absorbing Culture Without a Passport

From left, Joanne Culverhouse, Odile Dewar, technician Long Le, Theresa O’Hare and Betsy Jenkins.

Future opportunities for cultural exchanges between local students and their peers in Menton, France, were discussed in a recent video chat by school representatives.

School board members Betsy Jenkins and Theresa O’Hare joined Laguna Beach High School Principal Joanne Culverhouse and French teacher Odile Dewar to confer over possible events. Their counterparts are from Lyceé Pierre Et Marie Curie High School in Menton, Laguna Beach’s sister city.

Jenkins, who also serves on the sister cities board, believes “educational exchanges between students of different cultures can be a powerful tool to build international bridges of understanding and communication.”

Collaboration between the schools began with pen pals and culminated last year with a visit by Menton students, treated to presentations on the art, culture and history of the two cities. In the meantime, high school students keep up with each other and their language skills through class videoconferences, such as one upcoming.

“Culture is like a door that opens new horizons to people and students in general,” Dewar concluded.



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