The 2014-15 school year marks the beginning of a teacher and student exchange between Colorado Academy and Üsküdar American Academy (ÜAA) in Istanbul, Turkey. In February 2014 Upper School English teachers Tom Thorpe, the coordinator of this exchange, and Betsey Coleman received a grant from the American Turkish Society to develop curriculum that incorporated Turkish literature, art, and culture in the Ninth Grade English curriculum. The grant also included a trip funded by SEV to visit ÜAA, which was the genesis for this exchange. Upon arriving at ÜAA, Coleman and Thorpe noticed a synergy between the teaching and learning philosophies of ÜAA and CA, so discussion about an exchange framed much of their time and work while visiting the school.
The head of ÜAA, Eric Trujillo, a Colorado Native, worked with Thorpe, Coleman, and Forbes Cone, Director of Experiential Education at CA, to put together a three-part exchange. In October, part one, four high school teachers from ÜAA will visit CA to learn more about our community and prepare their students for the exchange. Students from ÜAA will then come to CA and be with host families from the sophomore class from January 18 – 31, 2015. The final part of this exchange will take place March 15 – 28, 2015 when the students, who applied and are selected for this exchange, will travel with Thorpe and Upper School Principal Dr. Jon Vogels to Istanbul. When in Turkey, the CA students will stay in the homes of their Turkish exchange counterparts, attend classes at ÜAA, and get to know the city of Istanbul and the Turkish history and culture.