During the third week of January, 22 students from the Shanghai World Foreign Language Academy visited Harker as part of an annual exchange program with the school, which has existed for more than 20 years.
The students arrived on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 14, and met up with their homestays. The WFLA chaperones enjoyed a day of sightseeing in San Francisco courtesy of technical theater teacher Paul Vallerga. The following day, grade 3 department chair Kathy Ferretti shuttled the chaperones to Monterey and Gilroy, and on Monday, lower school English department chair Kate Shanahan took them shopping in the San Jose area.
On their first day at Harker, the students observed classes with their buddies, made crafts in the middle school’s innovation lab and learned how to play American football. The next day, they toured Stanford University and visited the campus’s Cantor Arts Center. Thursday’s cooking class was especially fun for the students, who “had a great time making sloppy Joes, deviled eggs, clam chowder and apple pie,” said Jennifer Walrod, global education director.
Friday was packed with activity, as the WFLA students enjoyed a Chinese paper-cutting activity with lower school students, then headed to Cesar Chavez Park in downtown San Jose to enjoy a bag lunch before exploring the Tech Museum of Innovation. That afternoon, they returned to the middle school for a farewell party, where they and their buddies had great fun using the photo booth and making sundaes.
Just before boarding their flight home on Saturday, Jan. 21, the WFLA students shared an emotional farewell with their Harker buddies.