Living abroad is an enriching experience for children and adults. To minimize the transition for your child, it is vital that the merits of prospective international schools be fully evaluated. Simultaneously, it is necessary to review the anticipated U.S. objectives for the grade(s) that will be missed. Please keep in mind that U.S. education standards may or may not be the same as the country you will be visiting. It would be a pity if the phenomenal experience of living abroad had a detrimental effect on your child’s overall education.
The key is to find out as much as you can online and from others before you tour the school. Don’t be shy. Ask as many questions as you can and observe everything possible before you decide to enroll your child in a foreign school. Whenever possible, please try to include your child in the decision making process. Use the following 10 points as a guide.Read More»
Years ago, I gawked at pictures of the handmade tiles that adorn this famous 16th century synagogue. I never imagined that one day I would walk on those handmade Chinese tiles or gaze up at the colored glass lanterns. Sadly, security concerns prevent personal photos. I had to leave my camera with a nearby attendant. I can only share an interior picture that my son, Josh, took years ago and my exterior pictures. (see photo gallery)Read More»
During one of my fall breaks in India, I visited Munnar and Cochin with two of my teaching colleagues. We stayed at a lovely homestay, the Royal Mist. After experiencing the hustle and bustle of Bangalore, Mumbai, and New Delhi, I was delighted to breathe in the crisp mountain air and enjoy the natural beauty of the State of Kerala which boasts the highest Indian literacy rate- over 90%.
Although off the beaten track, this pristine part of India should not be missed. We stopped at a forest that grew homeopathic products, took numerous hikes, toured a tea plantation, explored a botanical garden, enjoyed a hilarious elephant ride, visited an abundance of waterfalls, and ate delicious homemade breakfasts and dinners prepared by our hostess Jeeva. (see photo gallery for additional pictures) Her husband, Anil, helped us plan our itinerary and arranged for our driver.Read More»
The Lodi Gardens in New Delhi covers approximately 90 acres. In addition to the usual gardens and ponds, there are historical structures in the park- a couple of 15th-16th century tombs and a wall from a fort. This adds an interesting dimension.
How many American elementary school teachers can say they went to an Indian jungle with their students? I’m probably among a select few.While teaching 5th graders at a Bangalore international school, I accompanied my students to the Kabini River Lodge for a three day outdoor education excursion. (see photo gallery for additional pictures)Read More»
A basic tour of India should include the Golden Triangle- Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. A few days before Josh’s New Delhi wedding, my family and a few of our American guests traveled to Agra and Jaipur. Rachael, Josh’s soon to be wife, stayed behind in order to prepare for the wedding. Many of the historical places we visited are showcased in my photo gallery.
In Jaipur, we stayed at the Raj Palace. If you are considering splurging on an Indian hotel, this is one place you should consider. Upon arrival, we had a royal musical welcome.Read More»
On the way to Sinhagad or Lion Fort, we passed the Khadakwasla Dam, a major water source for Pune. Along the shoreline, women washed their laundry and cows shared the roadway with the cars, trucks and motorcycles. (see photo gallery)
We drove on a narrow road that had numerous switchbacks. It reminded me of past journeys on Boulder’s Flagstaff Road. The Sinhagad Road was in poorer condition. The yearly monsoons caused the road to be rutted and the guard rails were dilapidated stone walls.Read More»
If you are in Bangalore, consider taking an excursion to the 12th century sites of Belur and Halebeedu (Halebid) located in the Hassan district in the southern state of Karnataka. The two sites are usually mentioned as one entity even though 16 km separate them. Keep in mind that the roads leading to and from Bangalore are cluttered with oxen carts, cows, and slow moving trucks so the approximate 230 km trip takes longer than a similar drive in the United States. If I had been traveling with others, I would have spent a night in nearby Hassan instead of rushing to see everything in just a few hours. I would have also included a visit to the Jaina temples at Shravanabelagola.Read More»
One of the exciting things about living abroad was my exposure to new foods with unfamiliar tastes and textures. My taste buds were put on high alert as I repeatedly tried to discern the composition of the foods that I tasted. Frequently, the ingredients could not be determined. This was especially true when it came to the mystery cookies that were sometimes served as an afternoon snack on the school’s campus. Even my fellow Indian colleagues were unable to identify the savory element. The monkeys shied away too. Instead, they scampered into the teachers’ lounge to forage on homemade pizza and sweet snacks.Read More»
As I flip through my Indian photos, I am reliving my incredible journey and am eager to share what I learned. Adapting to a foreign environment made me more receptive to cultural diversity. If I had played it safe and not ventured far away from my comfy suburban existence, I would have missed out on a once in a lifetime experience that included sharing my teaching expertise at an international school. Do you have an international teaching experience you’d like to share?Read More»