Globally Engaging Students in District 203

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Local high schoolers had a unique opportunity to make some global connections.

From one classroom to another, ten educators from Saudi Arabia recently came to Naperville Central High School for a presentation and Q & A.

The group from the Saudi Arabia ministry of education included principals, teachers, and school administrators. They’re visiting the U.S. to learn more about our education system and schools, while also discussing Saudi culture with students.

“I just thought it was a really good thing that they brought them here because there’s a lot of misconceptions of how culture is over there and not a lot of people might not know how it is over there. So when they came and actually told the students how the school is there it helped inform the students,” said Hana Hasan, a sophomore at Naperville Central.

Students from a world cultures class attended the presentation, and with the help of translators, asked questions about everything from food and sports to comparisons between Saudi Arabia and the U.S.

“My favorite part was listening [to them], because I asked a question about parenting, and listening to a woman talk about her children I thought that was really cool,” said Maria Gabrielli, a freshman at Naperville Central.

In turn, the group asked the students questions about their thoughts on school, life outside the classroom, and what programs they enjoy.

“The broader purpose as well is of global education and these kinds of interchanges is really, students, much more than people of my generation, will connect and will need to have the skills to connect and interact with people from around the world,” said Seth Brady, a Social Studies teacher at Naperville Central and organizer of the presentation. “So this is just one opportunity for students to be able to engage with people who are different from them and study cultural differences. It’s really a rare opportunity to get that exchange.”

Naperville Central was the first Illinois school the educators visited. Previously they had visited faculty and students at schools in Washington D.C.

The Saudi Arabian educators will also be visiting Illinois policy makers during their visit.

Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.