The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

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St. Mark's School of Texas
10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230
The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

ReMarker

The Student News Site of St. Mark's School of Texas

ReMarker

Students benefit from world travel

Students+benefit+from+world+travel
PHOTO/ MADDOX CANHAM

From traveling to different universities for research programs to venturing across the globe for study-abroad programs, Marksmen participate in exchange programs that broaden their horizons and expand their cultural understanding about the world around them.
One of those was junior Maddox Canham, who went abroad as part of a community service program to help the environment.
“The main reason I went abroad was that I wanted to do conservation work,” Canham said. “And what better place to go than the Galapagos, which is known for its great biodiversity?”
Although students from the school typically participate in these different programs abroad in order to gain a certain skill in relation to their area of interest, they often end up coming to appreciate the opportunities they have been given and get a wider perspective by seeing different countries and cultures.
“I stayed with a host family who knew no English, and it was great for me to practice my Spanish as well and to immerse myself in Ecuadorian culture and daily life,” Canham said. “My experience also helped me realize how lucky I am as a person. I am very fortunate to have such a wonderful family, house and school that support me.”
In addition to better understanding the world around them, Marksmen who travel abroad often find ways to give back to the community they become part of in places abroad.
“While there, I taught English to children at an afterschool program for a week, and did conservation work the second week,” Canham said. “Both were very enjoyable, but the most fun was probably working with the Galapagos tortoises.”
Students also partake in many study-abroad programs in order to further increase their fluency level in a language. Aadi Khasgiwala ’23 decided to take a gap year this year and spend the year in Taiwan, taking classes at Tamkang University.
“Ms. Lin was an incredible teacher over my years at St. Mark’s. Her classes and their information on Taiwan really appealed to me when thinking about applying for a gap year program,” Khasgiwala said. “I feel like applying for a scholarship to go abroad for a whole year before college wasn’t an experience I was going to get the chance to do again.”
Students acknowledge that putting themselves out in a new place with different cultures can always have its challenges. These challenges, which although at first seem daunting, are something Marksmen know will only make themselves better and more understanding.
“Learning Chinese with complete immersion in the language and culture was the main appeal to me. Also, being a 12-year Marksman, I thought it was time for me to somewhat self-impose a ‘culture shock’ to push me outside my comfort zone,” said Khasgiwala. “I’ll be living withthree other roommates, out of which two of them only speak Chinese. It’s an experience like no other in terms of expanding my world view and of course, my language skills.”
Khasgiwala is participating in the National Security Language Initiative for Youth Program, set up and organized by the U.S. State Department, though he will not be the first Marksman to take part in this program; in fact, he’s following in the footsteps of a previous one.
“[Max Palys ’21] did the exact same academic year program at Tamkang University that I am doing,” said Khasgiwala. “Max was fantastic at conveying the efficacy of the program and how much it had helped him grow in Chinese and also as a person. He definitely inspired my decision and was a helpful resource to consult as a fellow Marksman.”
As study-abroad programs in general become more and more popular among Marksmen, students are beginning to realize the value in traveling to other countries, stepping out of their comfort zone and reaching out to communities in need.
“I truly can only walk away with things to gain,” said Khasgiwala. “I have nothing to lose, and so much potential to grow.”

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About the Contributors
Vikram Singh, Head Writer
William Kozoman, Staff Writer