International Students & Language Exchange Program

As part of the extensive global network of Waldorf schools we offer unique opportunities for cultural exchange. Our Language Exchange Program places our High School students in primarily Spanish- or German-speaking Waldorf Schools across the world while the faculty welcomes language exchange students and international students to visit and enroll in our school. In the past we have had exchanges with students in Columbia, Chile, Austria, Switzerland, Korea, Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Kyrgyzstan, France, and Peru, among others.


German exchange students enjoy the video tower fountain at Millennium Park, Chicago
 

Language Exchange Program

The Chicago Waldorf School has offered a language exchange program in the high school since its inception in 1994. Students are encouraged to apply for an exchange in 9th grade with the possibility of going on an exchange in either the 10th or 11th grade. We have arranged exchanges between our students and those in primarily Spanish or German speaking Waldorf schools around the world. Students who choose to pursue an independent study in another language outside of school may also apply to the program. Students who are accepted into the program and are able to find an exchange partner typically go on exchange for 3-4 months and host their exchange at our school for approximately the same length of time.

Students are granted credit for meeting course requirements, as well as grades when applicable.

We have experienced our language exchange program as a huge asset to our high school for many reasons. It provides our students with a rich cultural experience, promotes their independence, and gives them the opportunity to improve their fluency in other languages. We also appreciate that the classroom experience and student body are enriched by having exchange students from other cultures joining in our school community.


Views of the Chicago skyline from atop the Willis Tower.

A large percentage of our High School students currently participate in this program; High School sophomores and juniors have the opportunity to spend part of a semester abroad⎯usually the duration of three to four academic blocks. They may choose from any of the Spanish- or German-speaking Waldorf schools from around the world and initiate a relationship with a host family from that school. Living with that family, they immerse themselves in the daily life of another language and culture, while continuing their current curriculum at their host's local Waldorf school. 

Upon their return, they also accommodate their partner exchange student for a reciprocal experience at the Chicago Waldorf School.

How to apply for the Language Exchange Program

High School students from abroad are welcomed!  
Students interested in applying may contact these Language Exchange Coordinators:
Spanish speaking: Senior Alberto Correa / acorrea@chicagowaldorf.org.
German speaking: Frau Theresa Hermanns / thermanns@chicagowaldorf.org.


 

Full-time Applications from International Students

Applications from students living abroad are warmly welcomed

Some international students choose to attend our school full time for a year, or for the full course of our Grade School, Middle School and High School programs. We value the diversity of our international students who bring their cultural experiences, social histories and fresh viewpoints to our school community⎯all benefiting the classroom experience and strengthening the diversity of our school community. We offer international students the option for enrollment for a full academic year or longer. Interested international applicants are encouraged to contact Laura Grenholm, Enrollment Director, at lgrenholm@chicagowaldorf.org to determine if there are openings available for entering your preferred academic year. If accepted for enrollment, an I-20 visa petition will be sent to the applicant along with details on proceeding with the American consulate for U.S. admission for study.


Students observe the downtown & waterfront parks from Chicago's Freedom Bridge.