From Korea to California, a Blessed Exchange

Good Shepherd Lutheran School hosts Korean Exchange Students for Six Weeks

Good Shepherd Lutheran School welcomes the arrival of 13 South Korean exchange students to the Good Shepherd Lutheran community. The students, whose grade levels range from third grade through eighth grade, are part of UNIVEST Foreign Exchange Academy and will attend Good Shepherd Lutheran School. Four students will stay for three weeks, while the remaining nine students and their chaperone will stay for six weeks and depart on Feb. 18. This is the second year for Good Shepherd to partner with UNIVEST.

“The exchange program is fantastic,” claims Good Shepherd Lutheran School’s exchange program coordinator, Preschool Director Cathy Timmer.  “Our students are thrilled to meet the exchange students and extremely eager to help them acclimate to their new home and environment. It’s a powerful lesson in cultural diversity and human awareness for our entire community. “

Since arriving on Tuesday, Jan. 8, the students have been acclimating to their new surroundings and getting to know their host families.

“The host families are all part of the Good Shepherd Lutheran School community and they are very enthusiastic about hosting an exchange student, “ says Timmer.  “I’ve heard some families mention that they’ll be taking their exchange student to Disneyland and another to Lake Tahoe. They truly become an extension of the family — both with their host family as well as the Good Shepherd Lutheran family. “

The exchange students will attend regular classes at Good Shepherd Lutheran School, with two hours per week of ESL classes focusing on conversational English. On Wednesday of each week they have a half-day field trip and each Saturday they have a full day field trip. Some of the field trips include walking the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco sighteseeing, Novato Police Department tour, Marin French Cheese factory tour, Jelly Belly factory tour, etc. 

At the end of the six-week exchange, the exchange students will perform in a talent show and will enjoy a potluck dinner with Good Shepherd Lutheran staff and their host families.

“This is a wonderful partnership. I’ve worked with several exchange programs throughout my career in education and UNIVEST is excellent," Timmer says. "It’s incredibly rewarding to see how the program positively impacts Good Shepherd Lutheran School — our students are excited to ask questions and learn from the exchange students and our teachers are marvelous at bridging all students together. We learn a lot as a community from the exchange program, and we model our values and faith to the Korean students. It’s a win-win all around.”

For more information on Good Shepherd Lutheran School, please contact Gigi Dennis, Marketing/PR at 415-250-4762 or e-mail gigi.dennis@goodshepherdlutheran.org.

About Good Shepherd Lutheran School Founded in 1976 as a ministry of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran School provides a comprehensive Preschool – 8th grade education serving the children of families in Marin and Sonoma Counties. Based on biblical principles and centered on Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd Lutheran School is a faith community that believes the best education takes place within the context of relationships, and where the uniqueness of every child is valued. Small classes emphasize one of the core values of GSLS, and teachers integrate a Christian worldview into the curriculum thereby creating foundations of faith, integrity, leadership, service to others and academic excellence.

GSLS is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Education Association and the California Association of Private School Organizations, and is accredited by the National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

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