The Importance of Ursuline’s Global Education

{Written by Journalism I student Katherine Bales ’22)

At the Academy, sisterhood certainly isn’t limited to Dallas – Ursuline sisters can be found all over the world!

“I knew that Ursuline had a global program, but I had never really experienced it until I went to Peru,” Bailey Uttich ’20 said. “My Peruvian sister and I still talk.”

Other students who have participated in the program can agree that it changed their high school experience.

“The global program spreads Ursuline worldwide,” Madeleine Crew ’20 said. “Knowing that you can visit other schools makes going to an Ursuline school all the more special.”

Each year at Ursuline, Miss Cecilia Nipp directs the Global Education program and leads trips to six different continents during school breaks. In 2019 Ursuline will travel to sister schools in China, Uganda, and Brazil during spring break; England over Easter; and Peru and Chile in the summer.

“There are a million details,” Ms. Nipp said, “but I am in charge of working with our sister schools, the application process for students, budget management, and selecting chaperones.”

Contrary to some belief, chaperones must undergo an application just like the students.

“We love to have at least three faculty members whose skills complement one another,” Ms. Nipp said. “For example, if one chaperone is a great organizer, another might focus on communicating with parents, et cetera.”

Mrs. Clark, in the science department and freshman dean, has travelled to Costa Rica with Global Youth Leadership Institute (GYLI) as well as Ursuline schools in Brazil, Wimbledon, and, most recently, Australia.

“What I loved about the trips was seeing all the things that we had in common.” Mrs. Clark said. “The Australians talk about St. Angela and Serviam like we do here, and it never felt like we were strangers there; they were like members of our family.”

She also noted some interesting differences between Australia and the United States.

“The students’ uniforms always include a hat because Australia is centered under a hole in the ozone layer,” Mrs. Clark said. “All year long people have to wear sunscreen and a hat to avoid sunburn. It’s something that I didn’t know until I got there.”

No matter what country, whether or not English is spoken, the intended travel experience has no requirement for anyone’s knowledge of the language.

“All the trips are cultural and educational experiences, so language is not the goal,” Ms. Nipp said. “It’s a wonderful bonus, but whether a student does or doesn’t speak the language, it will be fine because culture, education, and building relationships are the main focuses.”

Global travel helps to define Ursuline’s community and its relations with associate schools.

“Global relationships are part of our school’s identity,” Ms. Nipp said. “This program provides more of a perspective on the rest of the world and helps us to build relationships and make friends.”

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