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Students from Udine, Italy all smiles with their host "siblings" in the John P. Flavin Fine Arts Performance Hall at Oakridge.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Thirteen high school students traveled nearly 5,500 miles from Udine, Italy to The Oakridge School in Arlington to get an inside look at American teenagers’ way of life. The eight girls and five boys arrived Oct. 19 and will depart Oct. 30.

Arlington’s Martin High School has hosted Italian students through a cultural and academic exchange for 10 years, and recently asked The Oakridge School to partner with them. Typically, this is a program where the American host students travel to Italy and stay with their Italian “brothers or sisters” in the fall.  “We decided to dip our feet into the water this year and participate by hosting, but not the traveling portion,” said Jim Andersen, Head of Upper School. “The students are enjoying their experiences so much, however, that it won’t surprise me if some Oakridge students make plans to travel to Italy this spring.”

The exchange students are from Collegio Uccellis in Udine, which is located in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of Italy. Since arriving in the Lone Star State, the teens have attended classes with their host siblings, and enjoyed activities such as the Homecoming Football Game and Upper School Homecoming Dance. They are also visiting San Antonio and various local attractions.

City of Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams commended The Oakridge School and Martin High School for joining forces, and in so doing, demonstrating what’s special about the American Dream City. “These types of opportunities can be life-changing for every student involved,” said Mayor Williams. “In addition to being exposed to new languages, wonderful life-long friendships can be formed and students will gain an appreciation for other countries and culture. I applaud Oakridge and Martin for what they’re doing to enhance their students’ experiences. It’s a win-win for our great city.”

About The Oakridge School

Established in 1979, The Oakridge School is a coeducational, college preparatory school for students in preschool through grade 12. The school draws a diverse student body from 36 area cities and 15 countries to a dynamic learning environment on a 100-acre campus in Arlington. The Oakridge School mission is to inspire students to seek their full potential in academics, the arts, and athletics in a challenging and nurturing environment that cultivates social responsibility, mutual respect, and personal integrity. Visit www.theoakridgeschool.org or call 817-451-4994 for more information about The Oakridge School. You may also schedule a tour through our Office of Admissions by visiting www.theoakridgeschool.org/campusvisit.