Give your child, or grandchild (or more students in Oregon as a strategic economic development priority), the opportunity to take their Spanish language learning to a new level in Mexico. Oregon does have many students studying Spanish, from numerous immersion programs to high school classes. Spending a year attending a Mexican high school would boost their Spanish fluency.
ASSE (American Scandinavian Student Exchange, here) offers a high school year study abroad in Mexico for $5,392 plus airfare. Program fee includes comprehensive health, accidental death and travel insurance, host family recruitment and screening, non-English speaking country language training and orientation. Program fee does not include air travel, passport and visa fees, school uniforms (if required), educational/recreational overnight field trips, school lunch money (if necessary), and pocket money.
Host families do not receive fees or reimbursements for expenses. They will provide meals and lodging; all they ask in return is that the students participate as a responsible member of the family, assuming her/his fair share of chores around the house and sharing in family activities.
The $5,392 fee is for an early application by January 15, 2010.
The 2009 Oregon legislature did not pass the Go Global High School Study Abroad Program so students and families must fund study abroad on their own. ASSE does provide some scholarships.
Oregon’s State School Fund pays local school districts on average about $6,100 per student per year. Local school districts all collect and spend additional federal, local and grant funds. The average total expenditure per student per year in Oregon is about $10,000. The Go Global High School Study Abroad Program would have permitted local school districts to use their funds to pay for high school student to study abroad. They could pay all or part of the fees. Local school districts could save money by sending many of their high school students to study abroad in Mexico for a year.
This is some of what ASSE says about a high school year in Mexico:
Spend a school year in Mexico, a land of cordial hospitality with a strong sense of family, community and heritage. As an ASSE exchange student to Mexico, you may experience life in one of its traditional, colonial towns or quaint villages. While attending high school, you will soon make friends and get to know the warmth and generosity of the Mexican people. As you become proficient in Spanish, you will enjoy chatting with your ASSE host family over meals.
In addition to flavorful cuisine, Mexico is proud of its cultural dances which are an important link to the country's heritage. Youngsters learn such dances and perform on special occasions with pride. As a member of your host family, you too may celebrate local festivals with your host family in traditional costume.
The rich, Mexican culture encompasses both Spanish heritage and folklore as well as a history that stretches back many centuries to the Mayan and Aztec civilizations. Learn about the uniqueness of each state, such as Oaxaca with its beautiful folk art. As you master Spanish, you will learn about Mexico City, the capital and historic home of North America's only king and queen! As an exchange student in Mexico, the learning opportunities are as numerous as the country is varied.
A year spent in this enchanting land and culture is sure to change your perspective on life, family and the world.