In a remarkable cross-cultural experience, a group of 19 Grade 10 students from VIS had the privilege of participating in a student exchange programme in San Marino. Established in 2018, this programme aims to foster cultural understanding and forge lasting connections between students from different countries.
The journey began with a warm welcome as the VIS students arrived in San Marino. Their host families greeted them with open arms, initiating the exchange with a delightful barbecue and an evening filled with outdoor activities, creating an instant bond among the participants. Just like back home in Vienna, Monday marked the start of a new school week. Our students eagerly joined their San Marino peers in a variety of classes, including Law, Philosophy, Mathematics, English, Spanish, and Economics. Beyond the classroom, the students had the opportunity to delve into San Marino's rich cultural heritage. A visit to The Federation of San Marino Crossbowmen shed light on an ancient tradition dating back to the fourteenth century. Embracing modernity, our students also explored the studios of the national broadcaster, RTV, where they had the chance to polish their presenting skills by reading a sample news article on camera. Of course, no cultural exchange is complete without savouring the local cuisine. Our students had the privilege of learning how to make piada, a delectable local specialty—a type of flatbread. As the exchange programme neared its conclusion, the students were treated to a memorable visit to witness the investiture of the Captains Regent, held in the esteemed chamber. Inside the historical building, they beheld the grandeur of ceremonial robes and swords, witnessing a centuries-old tradition come to life. This unique experience left an indelible impression on the students, deepening their understanding of San Marino's rich history and heritage.
This student exchange programme has not only fostered cultural immersion and lifelong friendships but has also instilled a sense of global citizenship within our students. Through this transformative experience, our students have gained a profound appreciation for diversity, developed cross-cultural communication skills, and broadened their perspectives on the world. Special recognition goes to the teachers from San Marino and to Vice Principal Sandy Berti for her meticulous coordination and dedication, ensuring that every aspect of the programme ran smoothly.