At Nibras International School we understand just how much students learn from each other, and that is why we are actively involved in the International School Partnership (ISP) Buddy Exchange Programme.
This term we have had the privilege of hosting Daniela Alonso, a grade 11 student from Fontenebro School in Moralzarzal, Spain, as a part of the global student exchange programme.
The ISP Buddy Exchange Programme gives students between the ages of 14 and 17, a reciprocal opportunity to visit another ISP school in the world, for one month. It is an experience that promises to offer students amazing and diverse learning opportunities within a safe and secure environment. While living with local families, students are given a chance to experience the local culture and traditions, while going to school with their peers.
“I am having lots of fun and making so many new friends. I learnt to be more sociable. I was always social, but I learnt to be more open-minded,” shares Daniela.
“I find this culture completely different from Spain; however, there are so many similarities as well. I felt that the food here is very different from what I am used to in Spain. The similarity with Dubai and Spain is that I found both cultures to be quite social,” she continued.
Brandon Lewis, International Studies Director, Nibras International School explains why the Buddy Exchange Programme plays an important role in creating real global citizens.
“For Nibras International School, it is important to build a school culture that promotes this kind of exposure, because the benefits are far-reaching for the students involved and the school itself. Learning about world cultures through first-hand experiences abroad and then being able to share that information with counterparts in one’s own home country, are valuable opportunities that will bolster student tolerance and leadership on campus, while sharpening their “world views.” Books cannot teach everything. Hence, programs like this highlight the distinction between learning and education and International Schools Partnership’s Buddy Exchange Program is obviously the latter,” he said.
Daniela shares her happiness of being able to travel to Dubai as part of the programme. “I would recommend the ISP Buddy exchange program to everyone because it makes you happy and I have been smiling since the day I arrived here. It has been a really good experience and I would have loved to stay here longer. I look forward to visiting Dubai again in the future, because I love the place very much,” she said.
Our students at Nibras International School had a unique learning experience when they had an exchange student visit them for a month as a part of the ISP Buddy Exchange Programme.
Here we hear what Farhana Fayas has to say about what she learned while being Daniela’s Buddy for the month. Daniela stayed in her home and became a part of the family. Farhana and her family valued the opportunity to be involved in the programme and we’re very happy to host another student from a global ISP school.
How was it to have Daniela at your school and house?
It was a wonderful experience having Daniela at our house. As a family we had the opportunity to teach here our cultures and traditions and she shared hers with us.
What are some of the things you have learned from her?
Because her culture is different from mine she had her own way of looking at life. She was very independent and her interaction with people showed how mature and responsible she was. Having done multiple exchange programs earlier, she knew how to handle her expenses. This is something I hope I can also use in my life.
What are the things about your school that you have been most proud to share with her?
The students and faculty at NIBRAS are very caring and considerate; they were always supporting Daniela and made sure she was a part of the events that took place at school. She also volunteered in student-led activities like Griots. This is an event where we contribute and learn from stories, free expression through poetry from students at NIS.
What are the things you have been most proud of the UAE to share with her?
The UAE is a country with different nationalities and I am proud that Daniela had the opportunity to interact and mingle with different types of people during her stay at school and outside. I loved sharing the different types of food, and the culture. I also loved showing her all the landmarks of UAE.
Would you recommend that other NIS students and families volunteer to be part of this programme?
Yes, I would. It has been a great and memorable learning experience for me, not to mention I now have a new friend in a different country.