The third annual exchange with Rysensteen Gymnasium kicked off with 30 Danish students arriving at Tabor on Saturday the 12th to stay with host families for the week. They arrived ready to immerse themselves in school life at Tabor Academy, as well as learn more about American culture and family life.
The students were all assigned into courses of interest to them, many in math and science which are their specialties in school at home. This group represents the Math/Physics cohort at Rysensteen and over the last three years have taken most of their classes, beyond other electives, together. Their experience here at Tabor is part of their global citizenship requirement, which affords them the opportunity to travel to the partner school aligned with their cohort. Since 2017, Tabor has served as the math/science partner school for Rysensteen Gymnasiums consortium of schools worldwide.
One highlight of the exchange took place on Tuesday evening: a cultural conversation between the Danes and interested Tabor students. More than 50 students gathered in the Admissions Living Room to discuss all manner of topics. Rick DaSilva ’89, Associate Director of the Center for International Students and Jonathan Sirois, Chair of the Modern & Classical Language Department, facilitated the conversation asking the group to share their impressions of their days and slowly expanding into a dialogue about the differences they noted in our school, our students’ relationships with their teachers, our student culture, and the differences they saw between their country’s treatment of teens and their familial relationships.
The Danish students observed that American parents seem much more involved with their teens’ lives in school, as well as their social lives. A stark contrast was made between the freedom and independence the Danes experience compared to their American peers. The Danes also noted the difference in our focus on grades and individual achievement, where they perceive their society as being much more focused on the common good and efforts to minimize social inheritance. An example is the government paying them a stipend to attend school and college, leveling the playing field.
By the end of the evening, all agreed that a global citizen is one who seeks to learn from other cultures to help make a positive change to their own culture or to the world at large. One observed that acting as a global citizen starts with curiosity about learning about one’s own history and culture. Another made the astute observation that since every nation is comprised of citizens from many other nations, especially in the U.S., our ability to hone our skills as a global citizen can begin even without travel abroad if we actively seek out the cultural stories of our own countrymen.
We look to continue these conversations when a group of Tabor students travel to Copenhagen in March 2020 on their exchange trip.
We will celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. during our Saturday School Day with an Emmy award-winning television producer, public speaker, and peace advocate, followed by small group discussions.
Please join John Quirk, Head of School and hosts Mr. and Mrs. Lee Pokoik '63 GP '23 for a cruising reception aboard the Marina Jack II 2 Marina Plaza Sarasota 2:00pm. - 4:00pm (boarding promptly at 1:45pm)
On February 25, 2020 we have 1,876 minutes to reach our goal of 1,000 donors & have an impact on Tabor students.
To be 1 in 1,000: •Make a gift! •Follow #TaborTime on Social Media •Show your Tabor Pride •Challenge your classmates •Celebrate your time at Tabor •Have an immediate impact on Tabor’s students & faculty