The cost of sending one student to Paris and Liege for 10 days is $2240, including <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
" This trip to Belgium is so much more than a class field trip- to me it is the embodiment of what I want my life to be...those moments of comprehension, of understanding that someone is very different from you but realizing how truly beautiful that is, is what life is all about. I want to know what it's like to break barriers" These words are written by a 14 year-old student who cannot join us on our trip because her family just cannot afford the costs. This student is one of five students who longs to be a part of our Belgian exchange experience and is somewhat resigned to thinking that trips like these are only for the "rich" kids. Many people ask, why do you take 8th and 9th grade students abroad? Most importantly my students will experience another culture firsthand; will make international friends and will ultimately learn that stereotypes build walls and our strength as a nation depends on our being able to understand differing perspectives. This exchange experience is more than a language lesson- it's a lesson in "breaking barriers". Every two years I travel to Liege, Belgium with 20 to 24 students who live with a family, attend a Belgian school and take various side-trips (with their host students) to Brussels, Brugge, Amsterdam, the American cemetary and Paris. My students have been writing to their Belgian pen pals for three years and even video-conferenced with them last year. Because they want to communicate with their international friends, my students are very motivated to not only learn a new language (French), they are also excited about discovering a new culture . My goals in creating this Belgian exchange experience are: * Students will develop and maintain cross-cultural relationships and friendships * Students will not only learn a lot about themselves as they travel abroad and live with another family, they will also cultivate the possibility of studying abroad at the university level * Students will acquire a greater understanding of differing perspectives and the role they will play as representatives of the United States This year's trip is March 25, 2006-April 3, 2006. The Belgian students will be returning to Chapel Hill to stay in our homes April 3-April 12. Of my interested students, 5 students are economically disadvantaged. These students have worked hard in French for two years and are trying to raise money by mowing lawns and babysitting. The funds for these families are very limited; many of these students have never been to the beach, yet they want to travel abroad. Most of these children are African-American, and they see this as an opportunity to create a new vision of themselves as ambassadors in a foreign country. The Paris portion of the trip as well as transportation arrangements are being made through NETC-leap.com (National Travel Education Council) and the homestay portion requires little extra funds. I would like to set up a scholarship fund for any monies donated to this exchange program. The final payment deadline for this trip is January 4, 2006. Thank you for your consideration of this Belgian exchange project for my neediest students. With your help we will change the world, one student at a time.
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Paris, France, Liege, Belgium
(Airfare, hotel in Paris, train to Liege, side-trips and meals)
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