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Foreign exchange program departures set to proceed on schedule amid teacher strike

Gabe Kolodner
Juniors Jordan Ronell and Nehir Topaloglu prepare for their upcoming trip to Guadeloupe in an exchange meeting Thursday, Jan. 11.

North’s foreign exchange programs are proceeding as planned despite the ongoing Newton Teachers Association (NTA) strike. Students are scheduled to depart for Guadeloupe tonight, Friday, Feb. 2, and Italy tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 3.

“The exchanges are happening,” said Principal Henry Turner.

The NTA strike, which began on Friday, Jan. 19, has led to ten canceled school days. During the strike, all NPS buildings are shut down and NPS staff cannot communicate with students.  

According to Chinese teacher Star Lew, the global program developer, the logistics for the exchange trips are already settled. 

“All the paperwork for the trips is ready. They all got approved,” said Lew. “Everything is ready to go.” 

Although the strike has no direct impact on the dates of the foreign exchanges, problems have surfaced surrounding communications and preparation for departure. 

“We haven’t been able to meet to get more information on what to pack for the trip, practice the languages, or learn more about the culture and way of life,” said sophomore Natalia Ferrer.

The strike has added to the stress of students, particularly concerning how they will receive assignments from teachers to complete while abroad.

“I know many, including myself, who still need to talk to our teachers about make-up work during the exchange,” said sophomore Tom Perl Olshvang, who is going to Guadeloupe. “Since we can’t communicate with our teachers, lots of us are anticipating an immense workload the moment we come back from Guadeloupe, which isn’t a fun thought.”

According to sophomore Dina Goldberg, who is going to Italy, it is important to remain optimistic despite the uncertainty. 

“For right now we kind of just have to wait and see what happens and stay positive,” she added.

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Gabe Kolodner
Gabe Kolodner, Photo Managing Editor
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