Cultural Activity Reports

Divya Jesudoss

India.  Divya Jesudoss teaches in an International Boarding School in New York.  Her students who are studying the advanced Baccalaureate curriculum hail from French and Spanish-speaking countries, China, Norway, Nigeria, Botswana, Morocco, Russia, Sweden, Kenya, Kazakistan, Germany, The Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan.
Her Psychology classroom of 60 learned about cognitive processes of decision-making and were introduced to various factors that can influence memory.  Click on link below for short classroom demo in  May, 2021:

We harnessed the diversity in the three classes by inviting each cultural group represented to make a presentation on their own culture and its influence on their cognition. When the student presentations were completed, I presented my own culture, India, using a slide show.  In the video clip, I explain the significance of a south Indian meal. We held spontaneous discussions on similarities between cultures and practices. One common theme was henna designs in Indian, Iranian, Nigerian and other Middle Eastern cultures. Subsequently, some students explored learning how to make henna designs and its significance in different cultures. Students were interested in learning about health benefits and designs of henna unique to different regions around the world. Students enjoyed creating fusion designs on each other.

Yan Zhong

China.  Please click on the photo to view a successful collaboration of Choirs online for the song FAREWELL ” Songbie 送别”, an awesome performance. I am so proud of our choir group in our school in Bowling Green, KY.  Great thanks to the SW music teacher Mr. Grant Calvert and the choir’s students for working so hard to support this activity.  Great thanks to Ms. Lijiangli from Hongfan Middle School in China for sharing this special opportunity. The final video for the 5.25 Choirs group collaboration singing for love online  will be shown soon at the end of May 2022. Looking forward to seeing that final video, which is composed of six Choir groups from different countries.

It’s my honor to have this kind of special teaching experience. It’s very significant in my life and same for my son. 
At the farewell at school, it felt like the choir was singing  for me. Principal and all teachers hope to keep me there. I appreciate those miracles happened in my life. All the memories have been engraved in my mind. 

Yan Zhong, nicknamed Sheila, has taught Mandarin immersion at a public school in Bowling Green, KY for five years.  Her teenage son also enjoyed living in the US.  He played clarinet in the school band which she said he might not have an opportunity to do in China.  She is working to overcome immigration hurdles in order to stay and obtain her PhD in education (EdD) where she has been accepted at the local university.

Ann Maria HouriganCultural Activity Reports Britain

Britain.  Ann Maria Hourigan teaches in a British International Baccalaureate Pre-K to Grade 8 (IB) school in Manhattan consisting of approximately one-third British, one-third American and one-third international families. She plans annual excursions for New York students to visit the school’s sister city in London and serves as Head of the Science Department and IB Coordinator. Her    report focuses on:

1.  Cross-cultural exchange (London and New York schools)
2.  STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) initiative
2.  British Science Week

Click on the photo to access her report.

Shanshan LIU

China.  Shanshan LiCultural Activity Reports Chinau comes from the prestigious Hanban Program, the Education Agency of China which carefully selects their top teaching talent and generously dispatches highly qualified and motivated Chinese teachers all over the world, paid by the Chinese Government, to spread Chinese culture and teach Mandarin.  She teaches in an Elementary School in Kentucky and also participates in a variety of community outreach programs throughout the state.

One of the most unique and interesting ways to share includes the Confucius Institute’s Traveling Mobile Bus which features displays and videos on Chinese culture.
Click on the photo above to access her report.


Cultural Activity From FranceFrance.  Regine has taught at a French Immersion School in California for five years.  Her principal recommended her for a 4th-5th year J-1 teacher visa extension.

She finds ingenious ways to incorporate French History, Geography, cuisine, traditions, art, and celebrations into teaching both in the classroom, during innovative field trips, and at festivals, fairs, and other events in and around San Diego. Regine is a specialist in the unique French government curriculum and teaches PE at the elementary school grade levels.  She volunteers for the Balboa Park Holiday Nights which attracts visitors living all over California and surrounding states, where people from many countries and cultures share their food, music and art.

Click on the photo at left to access her report.


Cultural Activity Reports from France

France.  Julien BUDRINO has been teaching at a French-American International School in New York City for the past few years and submitted this report involving excursions around the city as part of his request for a 4th and 5th year extension in J-1 Teacher Visa status.
Although he lives in New York City, with the highest cost of living in the US, like many French-government certified teachers, he has overcome the challenges that are part of the pressured lifestyle in this densely populated metropolis.

Click on the photo at left to access his report.



Cultural Activity Reports Spain

Oscar PAU

Spain.  He is currently in his fifth J-1 visa term at an International School in New York City.

Oscar Pau has helped create the curriculum for the Spanish language immersion program in an International School, and thanks to the new J-1 teacher extension for an additional 4th and 5th year, he received approval to stay for two additional years.  He sometimes lends his creative and organizational skills to aid the Cordell Hull Foundation in presenting the annual CHF new-teacher orientations on the J-1 visa, US government structure, and parent-teacher relations in New York in August where he shares advice on cultural adjustment and teaching in an immersion school with new teachers arriving in the US.
This is Oscar Pau’s second J-1 visa exchange program.

Click on the photo at left to access his report.

Leah Schmalenberg

Cultural Activity Reports Canada

Canada.  Leah Schmalenberg teaches in a private school in California.  In the photo, she is showing her 5th-8th grade students how to place ice curling.

Instead of playing on ice, she substitutes a sunny field in Los Angeles.  Ice Curling is a sport that Canada usually dominates in the Winter Olympics.

The goal is for students to learn the rules of a new game and to gain interest in watching other countries compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

For the second Interactive Internet cultural activity, her students collaborated with a 6th grade Science class in Canada to develop a mini science fair, presenting two separate projects to each school, sharing ideas through chat, blog, and email.  Students can get ideas from others who live in different climates and have experienced extreme weather conditions to help them better understand their project topic.