Six students from Fordham Preparatory School arrived at Clongowes last Friday the 8th of November as part of the annual Global Exchange Programme which is now in its second year. Fordham is a Jesuit high school based in the Bronx, New York City which has strong connections with local, national and international Jesuit secondary schools including Clongowes.
The Fordham exchange student; Jaylen Cuevas, Benn Friend, Nicholas Vega, Charlie Morris, Christian White and Myles Bartley were greeted at their arrival in Dublin airport by their designated host families. Each boy was paired with a Clongowes student and accompanied by Fordham staff members, Mr Ed Jennings and Mr Paul Lauber on the trip. The boys had a busy week ahead taking part in classes at Clongowes followed by various events and trips to some of Ireland’s most popular destinations.
A Busy Itinerary
The week began with a tour of the castle and College Archives courtesy of archivist Ms Margaret Doyle. This was followed by an evening of games and entertainment. Tuesday gave the boys some time to reflect on their trip so far. They attended classes until mid-day followed by the Social Outreach Programme. The boys attended the Trad for Trócaire session at Connolly’s Pub that evening which was co-ordinated by Ms Catherine Heslin who leads the Clongowes Trad group. A great night was had by all and the traditional live Irish music was a welcome new experience for our visitors. The boys attended classes on Wednesday followed by the Past Versus Present Debate in the evening where they watched on as current students and Old Clongownians passionately argued the motion “This house believes that trial by jury should be abolished in all criminal cases.”
On Thursday, the boys departed for a much-anticipated walking trip to Glendalough under the watchful eye of Mr Tom Carroll. The group took in the mountainous Wicklow scenery, stopping for a well-earned lunch break whilst taking in the spectacular views of the lakes. The boys returned to the College for their evening meal-tired but rejuvenated from the long walk and fresh air. The Fordham group led Friday’s Morning Prayer then departed to Dublin city centre for a James Joyce tour.
Mr Carroll adds that: “The Fordham Preparatory exchange is based on a shared experience of being part of a Jesuit global school community. We cannot continue to speak of our Jesuit identity unless we live it practically and concretely. This exchange is an attempt to push beyond our boundaries and explore another part of the world – if only for a couple of times a year. Hopefully from these fledgeling inaugural visits to New York and Ireland will come the growth of friendship and experience that makes us who we are. “
We are sad to see our visitors leave but their exchange partners are surely looking forward to experiencing their New York hospitality when they visit Fordham next March.