Tamalpais Union High School District is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Global Studies Program and its founder and director, Tamalpais High School French Teacher, Brian Zailian. The Global Studies Program provides opportunities for TUHSD students to not only study abroad and experience immersion in another culture, but to host visiting students as well.
“The Global Studies Programs in our district offer life changing learning experiences for our students”, said Zailian. “The traveling students encounter situations which are sometimes difficult to recreate in a traditional classroom: cultural sensitivity, language immersion, geographic comprehension, political and social discussions and most importantly a glimmer of personal self awareness.”
The longest running program within the Global Studies Program is the exchange between Lycee Gaston Febus in Orthez, France and Tamalpais High School. Over 500 Tamalpais High School students have traveled to France over the past 20 years. This year also marks the fifth anniversary of the Global Studies exchange between students at Sir Francis Drake High School and the Lycee Samuel Raapoto in Papeete, Tahiti. Over 100 Drake students have traveled to Tahiti.
TUHSD students in both the France and Tahiti programs host exchange students in their homes in October and then spend 17 days away from the U.S. during the month of April. TUHSD students live with their host families, attend classes at local schools, and visit significant cultural sites and regions. Additionally, students in the French exchange visit Paris. Students who participate in the Tahitian exchange also visit Moorea and Bora Bora, prepare Polynesian cuisine, practice Tahitian dance, and study the coral reef and the tropical forest.