Twenty-one students from Key West High, Marathon High, Coral Shores High and the Key West Collegiate schools leave at the end of this month to travel overseas for cross-cultural "immersion" in other countries.
The students are going through the Experiment in International Living. Founded in 1932, the Brattleboro, Vt.,-based works with school districts nationwide each summer to send the kids around the globe. Each year, the students participate in three-, four and five-week programs that include home stays, language training and community service components.
The 21 Keys students are heading to 14 different countries -- Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, South Africa, Spain, and Thailand. Since 2006, 125 Monroe students have participated. Overall this year, about 500 U.S. students are heading out.
"The Experiment provides an amazingly unique opportunity for youth to not only immerse into other cultures around the world, but to learn so much about their own," said Steve Pribamsky, president of the Monroe County Education Foundation, the local partner sponsoring and helping finance the program for Monroe County kids.
This year's Experiment participants from Monroe County:
- Key West High: Michael Stern, Argentina; Leda Morales, Brazil; Ryan Cziko, Mexico; Ramon Arza, China: Keristy Carter, Costa Rica; Catherine Richardson, Ecuador; Kara Berces, France; Monique Teal, France; Madison Fletcher, France; Oscar Rojas, Morocco; Leslie Rodriguez, Spain; and Cherline Riche, South Africa.
- Marathon High: Sharon Rodriguez, Germany; Edward Hannah, Spain; and Regan Durkin, France.
- Coral Shores High: Selina Quezada, Spain; Raven Golie, Spain; Michael Corliss, Italy; and Hannah Snoddy, Thailand.
- Key West Collegiate: Jordan Guieb, Japan.