Hello! I'm Sophie Minetti and as a teacher, I've always been involved in helping students to become self confident and to step out of their comfort zone. I want students to be proud and daring. I've been teaching for 30 years and I'm also Program Director of Academica Dual Diploma for individual students in France. Academica Dual Diploma is giving pupils the tools to widen their skills, broaden their horizon and culture with teachers who care. It's also a way to provide them with an upgraded academic record to apply to prestigious schools and universities. My motto "Make the most of life"
At our school, Las Irlandesas, in Madrid, I have been in charge of the Dual Diploma for four years now. During that time we have grown from a small group of 24 pupils to 93 this year!! Our students are very enthusiastic about this program because it provides not only full English immersion but also the door to exciting attractive materials and experiences, such as being able to talk live online with highly interesting people, like survivors of the Holocaust and Pearl Harbour or the managing director of Coca-Cola worldwide. They have the opportunity to debate with kids from all over the world, about current topics like the War in Ukraine or the Presidential Elections in the USA last year. I consider such interviews the best part of the Dual Diploma, an unusual enriching educational gift they do not usually come across in their current school studies. Far from memorizing boring History or Literature facts, our Dual Diploma youngsters learn how to create a poem by themselves, to weigh up the causes and consequences of a particular war or the strategic reasons behind a type of battle choice. They are expected to carry out their own research, they learn how to cite sources or how to argue for and against a current news topic. In short, a holistic innovative student-centered methodology that encourages our young people to lead their own learning process while improving their language skills as well as general knowledge and culture.
My name is Sofia Ramirez and I lead the area of Global Connections at Colegio Hacienda Los Alcaparros. We connect the school with thinkers, artists, and scientists from around the world. These opportunities are leveraged for knowledge sharing experiences for our community, for global engagement, and to create impact. The Brain Initiative falls into the area, a unique series of scientific colloquiums which explore the development of the brain in different aspects. These events act to ensure that the school stays on the cutting edge of research in learning and development.
I am a Knowledge Translation Specialist and have worked for science, education and health care organizations. My expertise lies in helping to make complex data or scientific findings accessible. I act as the facilitator in the Cognia accreditation process and as the program director for the Dual Diploma program.
Hi! My name is Jessica Honores and I’m from Chile. I have been teaching in San Josè de La Serena school for 10 years and I’m the head teacher of 5th grade.
We are very happy to be part of DUAL PROGRAM again, because of the pandemic we had a break.
One of the objectives of our English Department this year is to prepare our best students from 5th grade in all the necessary skills to be part of the DUAL PROGRAM in High School. We hope to succeed on that!
DUAL PROGRAM offers a great opportunity for our students who want to wide the cultural barriers from this far part of the world, because of that, we promote all the advantages and benefits of being part of this organization.
Enrique Troyo - Mexico
Hello! I am Enrique Troyo del Valle and I love the world of education. I believe in changing big things little by little. I’ve been teaching Maths and coding in middle and high school for 20 years and now I’m also program director of Dual Diploma at Colegio Miraflores Toluca, near Mexico City. Students, the organization and myself, we’re all very happy to participate in this program for the first year. Dual diploma is broadening our horizons and widening our experience as global citizens. It’s an added value for all of us. They are really motivated to develop their potential to the limit. We’d love to have more exchange with other schools all over the world. I live with my wife and two daughters, a dog, two cats, a parrot and a fish. I love to hike and being outdoors.
My name is Raquel Custodio, a seeker of opportunities from Guatemala! Having a Master´s in HR and being a Psychopedagogist and a Clinical Psychologist, I knew from the very beginning we had to accept the challenge and privilege to join Academica International Studies with our school´s teenagers. Since my years as a teacher and currently as the English Department coordinator at Colegio Suizo Americano in Guatemala, I hadn´t encountered a program like this one, that aligned to our philosophical threads as a school and that would get our students on the path to becoming global citizens and expanding their personal, social, and emotional skills, giving them the opportunity to be a lot more immersed in the target language and connecting them to an international network of students. We started our partnership this year, and we are looking forward for many more collaborating!
Pablo Pozo Ruiz
My name is Pablo and is a pleasure for me to write these little lines. So, firstly, I would like thank to Academica for this opportunity.
As a short introduction, to say that I work in a school called Sagrado Corazón of Granada (Spain), belonging to the "Educational Foundation Sofía Barat". This school serves the complete official teaching, from Infantile (children 3 years) to Bachillerato (youngs 18 years). I have been teaching in this great school for six years and I am very happy, as all the educative community (colleagues, workers, families, students...) is wonderful. My teaching subjects are Mathematics and Information and Communications Technology. And the ages of my students are between 14 and 18.
As soon I received the proposal to manage the Diploma Dual Program in our school, I had very clear. From the first moment, the presentation of Academica, of its project, of its concept, I seemed highly professional, interesting, and attractive. Without any doubt, a fantastic option for our teenagers, for their academic and personal development. The Dual Diploma offers very large advantages, such as autonomy and organization in the study tasks, knowledge about the future canals of learning (digital platforms, communications and content creations apps...), facility with the English language in all its skills, the projection to others cultures and work methods, the personal responsibility, perceive the importance of the effort and the commitment, etc.
And, to all the previous, is needed to add the fabulous and impeccable competence of the whole Academica work team. The quality of its human resources is amazing. Teachers, administrative and technical staff, managers..., everyone, owners of perfect professionalism, training, education, vocation, amiability, devotion, helpfulness.
It is a privilege and luck to be part of this adventure. Students and Directors Program are delighted with the experience and we recommend it
Hello! My name is Filomena Martins and I have been teaching English for 20 years now.
I have experience in other professional areas, as journalist, translator and marketing assistant. However, teaching is my true inner calling.
I have a master's degree in Teaching English and German as Foreign Languages, a master’s degree in American Literature and I’m currently a PhD student in Intercultural Studies.
Last school year, my school, Escola Internacional de Torres Vedras in Lisboa (Portugal), accepted the challenge Academica International Studies had offered. Eduardo Castro, our director, is always searching for new challenges that may contribute to giving our students the best education towards excellence, has invited me to embrace this challenge. I grabbed this opportunity with all my heart and energy and in the middle of the pandemic chaos throughout the world, the Dual Diploma program was a light showing that there would be a future.
Among others, one of my tasks is to help my students keep on track and give them the confidence they need to ask for help to their teacher in the USA - this is a great contribution to their personal development and maturity.
I definitely believe this experience allows students to live a true international experience. When they have their live sessions, they share that moment with students from different countries which implies different viewpoints, different backgrounds, and even different accents. Moreover, the curricula itself is focused on the United States giving them a deep knowledge of a completely different culture.
Critical thinking, an essential competence for their future, is also developed through the program.
One of the things which impressed me the most, is the fact that my students had to learn how to manage time very well so that they could meet all deadlines. They have improved their IT skills, communication skills, both oral and written, and also their intercultural competence. In addition, they improve their self-esteem. The students become more confident in their capacities and more eager to improve them. Being a Program Director, I find it wonderful to witness the students' growth, both as students and human beings and to know that somehow, I have participated in that process, makes me proud. I would say that this program is meant for students who are not afraid of challenges and overcome any difficulty or challenge.
Finally, I should say that I enjoy participating in the webinars for teachers which are a way of acquiring new tools, further knowledge and to become more aware of different learning approaches.