A bilingual education can provide a fountain of opportunities for your child, as proved by Marianne Le Vine, 8th grade class of 2005. Marianne is currently an undergraduate student at Stanford University, studying International Relations and French. A combination of passion for French language and culture (cultivated through her years at ISTP) and a love of learning presented Marianne with the opportunity to study abroad for her Winter and Spring quarters.
“Stanford has a campus in Paris, and employs faculty from the Sorbonne and Sciences Po to teach small seminars. All of the classes are taught in French. While most of the classes students take are with other Stanford students, Stanford offers a language-partner program with students attending the engineering school in the same building and helps students find internships at French companies or organizations, in order to expose students to the French professional environment. I plan to do an internship at a French media organization for academic credit.”
It is easy to think Marianne would still be on this academic adventure, regardless of where she attended elementary and middle school. Marianne, though, paints a very different picture.
“If I had not attended ISTP, I do not know if I would have even decided to study abroad in Paris. ISTP exposed me to French culture and history. Having spent nine years at ISTP, I was able to reach a level of fluency in French that otherwise would have been unattainable, since my family is not French.”
Marianne also feels her ISTP education gives her a distinct advantage as our worlds and lives become increasingly international.
“Perhaps one of the most important lessons ISTP taught me at such a young age was the importance of understanding that not everyone in the world thinks the same way. Stanford, like all colleges, attracts a diverse student body from different social and cultural backgrounds. I believe that if I had not attended ISTP, I would not have had the same level of appreciation for the different perspectives my classmates have to offer. If I had not gone to ISTP, I do not believe my college experience would have been nearly as enriching as it has been.”
While international consciousness is important and pervades all aspects of an ISTP education, it is the teaching and learning which truly impacts the lives of these students.
“ISTP taught me at an early age to love learning. Looking back at my elementary and middle school education, perhaps what strikes me most is how dedicated my teachers were to making sure students understood the material they were teaching. ISTP’s small environment allowed me to interact with my teachers on a very close level. My teachers’ passion and dedication to their individual subject matters was contagious, and helped motivate me to work hard in school. The motivation to work hard carried on into high school and into college. Without having such committed teachers, however, I do not know if I would be as excited about learning.”
Whether students are enrolled in the French program or Mandarin program, they all part ways with ISTP with a mastery of the language and affinity for the culture they are educated in. As Marianne says, “I know that my fluency in the French language will smoothen my study abroad experience, and will allow me to become fully immersed in French lifestyle much faster than if I had simply learned French in high school or college.”