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STUDENTS AND FACULTY BECOME PART OF HISTORY UNEXPECTEDLY, DURING AN INTERNATIONAL AND MARINE STUDIES PROGRAM EXCHANGE WITH A SCHOOL IN MONACO In the summer of 2015, Canterbury’s Director of International Studies, Gina Donovan, submitted proposals to Monaco’s Ambassador and Minister of Education to arrange an exchange initiative for Canterbury students to stay in the homes of 10 students from Monaco’s High School (Lycee, in French) Albert I. While visitng the high school, both sets of students prepared presentations for each other on the state of marine environments in their respective waters (Mediterranean and Florida). Also a part of the exchange, Canterbury students got to participate in a sea rescue activity with Pierre Frolla, a famous graduate of Lycee Albert I. Frolla is a one-time Olympic free diving champion who now runs Ecole Bleue, a marine education school in Paris.

While in Paris, the students and chaperones unexpectedly became part of an international crisis--the ISIS attacks of November 13, 2015. Students and chaperones were sightseeing about a mile from the explosion at the Bataclan concert venue, completely unaware of what was happening. Moments later, Donovan received a cell phone call from a friend who is a member of the French police force, who advised her to get back to the hotel immediately.

BELOW & RIGHT: Canterbury students visit Parisian landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Palace of Versailles outside of Paris.

“The airport personnel took very good care of us,” says Donovan. “They understood our situation as an American student group, and were extremely accommodating to get us through as seamlessly as possible.” Next year, the Blue Ocean Film Festival comes back to St. Petersburg, and the students from Monaco’s High School Albert I will come and stay with Canterbury families, something about which they are very excited.

The students finished their time in Monaco attending events at the Blue Ocean International Film Festival, where Canterbury alumnus Preston Buchanan won first place in the student film category (see sidebar, right). After the film festival, the students traveled to Paris to visit Èze, Nice, and Saint-Paul de Vence.

Donovan and fellow chaperone and Canterbury teacher Bridgit Mathers calmly escorted the students, still unaware, back to the hotel, where they stayed on lockdown overnight. In spite of the French president closing the borders, they left the next day as scheduled, and their international flight was able to depart just a few hours late.

“When we were in Monaco, we went everywhere with those families, followed them around, did what they did,” says Emmy Murray (‘19). “It was very comfortable because they were practically fluent in English.” ABOVE: A Lycee Albert I student and Domi Donovan (‘19) pose with head of Ecole Bleue, Pierre Frolla, after a mock sea rescue activity in the Mediterranean.

Maggie Giffin (‘19) added, “Yeah, we can’t wait for them to get here next year so we can take them to our parks like Universal, and show them a good time, too!” As international relationships and opportunities to connect continue to arise, Canterbury’s International and Marine Studies program directors will continue to create opportunities to learn beyond borders and to solidify the school’s mission of creating responsible stewards of our world. This summer, Donovan will be taking a group of Canterbury students to China for two weeks for an in-depth discovery of the Chinese culture, history, and language. The group will visit Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Hong Kong.

12 | SPRING 2016

Profile for Canterbury School of Florida

CSFeatures Spring 2016  

CSFeatures is a 3x/year publication from Canterbury School of Florida (CSF) an independent, PK3 - 12, co-ed, college prep day school on two...

CSFeatures Spring 2016  

CSFeatures is a 3x/year publication from Canterbury School of Florida (CSF) an independent, PK3 - 12, co-ed, college prep day school on two...