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Immersion at JSA: SIP Program


Let’s start with the literal definition of the word immerse: to submerge in liquid, or to involve oneself deeply in a particular activity or interest.

Immersion can mean different things to different people in different places. Whether you go abroad for a short period or a long period of time fully immersing yourself in a new culture, or whether you take a comprehensive language program right where you live, immersion typically means you are learning the language, customs and beliefs, rituals and habits, foods, and dress of a people group.

At JSA we merge three cultures for a truly unique immersion experience! Yes, three! – Chinese culture, American culture and teenage culture. We expect our students and teachers to get deeply involved in one another’s language and thought processes via discussions about Ideas and Values. Through our humanities curriculum, our students and teachers learn about and get to know each other as people who inhabit the earth whether we call the East or the West our home. Our students contribute to the “Conversation of Mankind” through dialogue in English and Mandarin. Our students continue their conversations in English through specific pieces of literary and non-literary writing.

Union and Confederate troops clash at the Battle of Franklin in Tennessee, 1864. (Library of Congress/Kurz and Allison)

This year our particular interest is in the American Civil War. We will immerse ourselves in an era of American history unparalleled to any other, which, in turn, will help us think deeply about who we are as human beings and how we, in the 21st century, engage in and participate as global citizens of the world!

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