Beginning in the second semester of the 2013-2014 school year, certain Marlborough students will travel abroad through a foreign-exchange program for a span of two weeks and become immersed in the culture of another country. Girls taking Spanish, French or Chinese have the opportunity to stay with a host family and go to school. Spanish students will stay in Argentina, French students will stay in France and Chinese students will stay in China. The one-to-one exchange will send a Marlborough girl to stay with a host family and, in return, the host family’s child will come to Los Angeles. Because the girls are trading room and board, the cost will be minimized, therefore opening up more possibilities for girls to gain the experience of living in a different country.
For each trip, a Marlborough foreign-languages teacher will voyage overseas with the students. The French trip to Paris will be headed by foreign-languages instructor Elizabeth Vitanza. For the Spanish trip, foreign language instructors Sandra Battiata and Regina Rosi will lead the group to Argentina. In Beijing, foreign-languages instructors Li Bu Larson and Ling Zhang will supervise the Chinese trip. Chinese and Spanish students will attend school for a few days with their host families, whereas French students will meet up with Vitanza and explore the city.
The French students’ ability to personalize their itinerary distinguishes the trip to Paris from the other language trips. Since only seven Marlborough girls are going on the 12-day excursion to France, Vitanza has made each one of the girls responsible for planning the agenda for one day. This arrangement allows the girls to visit shops and museums that interest each girl specifically, in addition to the sites already included in Vitanza’s schedule.
“My job is to add the cultural component to it—so [the students] can learn about the history, commerce and consumer society in France…and [to] make them aware of the socio-economic part of the city,” Vitanza said.