By Michele Dotson firstname.lastname@example.org
Eleven students from Kingsley College in Redditch, Worcestershire, England got a Big-I welcome on Thursday, October 24 for their first day of a two week school exchange.
Students spent their first day getting acquainted with their peer guides, enjoying breakfast provided by Chick-fil-A, and Krispy Kreme, and meeting their hostess, Ms. Katie Willett, as well as school principal, Amy Dellinger.
Willett, a US History and seminar teacher in Independence High School’s Academy of International Studies (AIS) program, has been leading the exchange for the past four years.
“The Kingsley students are here for two weeks, and we will go over there for two weeks in the spring,” says Willett.
Mark Atherton of Kingsley College has also been a part of the program for several years.
“This is my seventh time visiting Independence,” says Atherton, “but the fourth time we’ve had the exchange.”
Atherton, who is Deputy Head Teacher at Kingsley College, says the students learn so much and make great friends.
“Most of our students here are what we call Lower Six,” he says. “That is equivalent to your juniors. All but one of our students visiting this year are juniors, and we have one senior. We always have a great time here.”
AIS students will accompany their guests on several field trips around Charlotte, and Kingsley students will shadow their student guides to classes and after school activities.
AIS families serve as host families, welcoming the British students into their homes for the duration of their stay.