Upper School Interim 2024 Recap

Apr 3, 2024 | All School, Blog, Interim, Upper School News

Exposure, Education, Experience, and Empathy

  • 6 Continents visited
  • 13 Countries visited
  • 4 States visited
  • 310 Student travelers
  • 50 Faculty chaperones
  • 61 Internships
  • 90 CORE students

Interim is a unique experience that propels our students into a world of learning beyond the traditional classroom walls. The Impact Ready Plan calls us to nurture globally proficient citizen leaders, and Interim is one of many tools that help us accomplish this feat. Interim includes travel, both domestic and international, Internships, and CORE. No matter which path you choose, all aspects of Interim are rooted in a deep understanding of cultural competence, guided by what we refer to as the “4 E’s”: Exposure, Education, Experience, and Empathy

Exposure:
At the heart of the Mount Vernon Interim program lies the commitment to expose our students to the vast and diverse world beyond the confines of classrooms and textbooks. Through domestic & international travel, exploration of our very own Atlanta, and involvement in internships, our students embark on a journey of discovery. This exposure is not just about seeing new places; by stepping into communities beyond the classroom, whether it be through a trip to another continent, an internship at the CDC, or a visit to a local cultural festival, our students begin to see the world with new eyes. Exposure challenges preconceptions, sparks curiosity, and opens the mind to endless possibilities.

Education:
Education, in the context of our Interim program, goes beyond the conventional. It involves teaching our students the skills and knowledge they need to navigate, appreciate, and contribute to the world’s diverse cultures. This educational journey ensures that our students are not just visitors but informed and respectful participants in the global community. You can read Anne Frank’s Diary, but have you walked through the streets of Amsterdam, into her house, seeing the wallpaper on her walls? In South Africa, students stood in a cell and listened to a former political prisoner tell his story. In Australia, students learned about the threats to the coral reef, then snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef and held bleached reef to fully understand the impact of climate differences. Students stood underneath The Creation of Adam in the Sistine Chapel, sledded down the Coral Sand Dunes, rode vespas through downtown Hanoi, Vietnam, and ventured through the deserts of Morocco on camelback. Learning happens everywhere.

Experience:
Experience is where knowledge and exposure are transformed into wisdom. Our students are given the invaluable opportunity to live and breathe what they have learned about. This might mean partnering with a local school to play soccer/futbol, participating in a community service project like cleaning shrines, or working alongside local artisans to create pottery. This might look like an internship, bridging the gap between academic learning and real-world application. By tailoring internships to the interests and aspirations of each student, Interim provides invaluable hands-on experience in a variety of professional fields. Partnerships with leading organizations and MVXperts ensure that students not only apply the knowledge and skills acquired in the classroom in a practical setting but also foster meaningful connections with mentors in their chosen fields. Students are building their network now, not later.

Empathy:
Empathy—the ability to understand and share the feelings of another—is the natural culmination of exposure, education, and experience. As students interact with individuals from many backgrounds, they learn to see the world from multiple perspectives. Students who participate in CORE experience learning through deep, meaningful connections in our surrounding communities. The CORE program fosters an environment where students are encouraged to engage in collaborative projects, community service, and leadership roles, thereby learning from diverse perspectives and real-world challenges. This deep sense of empathy allows them to connect with others on a human level, transcending cultural, linguistic, and geographical barriers. It is this empathetic understanding that will empower them to make meaningful contributions to our global society.

Watch the students trip recap videos here:
Australia 1
Australia 2
Brazil
CORE
Costa Rica
Europe
Grand Canyon
Internships
Malta
Malaysia
Morocco
New York City
South Africa 1 
South Africa 2
Vietnam