"We prepare students to engage in the world that is and to help bring about a world that ought to be."

First Year of Exchange Program un Éxito!

A boat tour of Barcelona’s historic and bustling port, a guided visit of Antoni Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia Basilica, an excursion to the Picasso Museum — coupled with leisurely breakfasts at local cafes before class — were an incredible opportunity to soak in the rich culture of Spain alongside a daily classes in Spanish and life with their host families. 

Last fall Friends Seminary welcomed six students from the prestigious Sant Ignasi (Saint Ignatius) in Barcelona, Spain as part of a new Exchange Program spearheaded by Kara Kutner, Director of the Center for Peace, Equity and Justice. Read more about their time at Friends here. You may also read about their experience in this month’s issue of The Insight, written by Theo ‘24.

In March, the tables turned and Friends students (Ayla ’26, Bode ’26, Clara ’26, Jeff ’26, Jane ’25, and Safira ’26) who served as hosts and guides were packing up to trade classroom seats in Barcelona. After a seamless travel experience, they were introduced to the beauty of Barcelona through group scavenger hunts, helping identify the important places in the life of Sant Ignasi, as they arrived the week the School celebrated the saint’s history. 

Friends students delved into the School’s rigorous academic programming—exclusively in Spanish—and adjusted well to the more formal classroom environment. “I have been incredibly impressed with the students’ linguistic risk-taking and positive attitudes here! They did a great job of making good use of their time and their enthusiasm was consistently strong,” explained Spanish Teacher, Kevin Donnelly.

The first year of the Exchange Program has been a great success, and plans are underway to replicate it for next year. “I am thrilled by the way the Friends community has responded to this important new global education initiative, putting language acquisition and the building of global citizenship at the forefront—particularly our intrepid Friends students,” explains Kara.
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Friends Seminary — the oldest continuously operated, coeducational school in NYC — serves college-bound day students in Kindergarten-Grade 12.