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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2016 UA Dallas in Brazil Video

Our Brazilian Delegation has been back in Dallas for a few days but their hearts are still in Brazil. Take a look at the delegation video below to see some of the highlights of their wonderful experience in Brazil:

UA Dallas & Colegio Santa Ursula, Brazil Exchange 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Last Days at Colegio Santa Ursula

Friday was the last day for our delegates at Colegio Santa Ursula. In the morning, Mr. Poellot taught "the hour of code" to middle school students. They all worked on creating either a MineCraft, Star Wars or Frozen video game. At the end of the class, he gave each student a sticker proclaiming that he /she had completed an hour of code and had started to become a computer programmer.  He then met up with Ms. Rico and the students to participate in a Portuguese lesson given by Ze Ricardo and Marcio.  The lesson was centered on idioms (expressions such as “take the bull by the horns”) and how they may or may not be the same in the USA and Brazil.  The teachers felt old when the students didn’t know some of the idiom examples, but all were successful in saying the Portuguese translations.


Following the language lesson, the Dallasites were bid a fond farewell by the primary school.  They did a fantastic job sending off our group! The fifth grade students played a lovely song on their  recorders, other students lead a prayer and also sang songs. The entire group then sang “Malo Malo” after which students had the opportunity to ask questions.  Nearly every hand went up when Rafael asked the students who would like to go to the USA to visit Ursuline Academy of Dallas someday, and he reminded them to keep studying English. 
And now, after a fun-filled last weekend together, our Dallas delegates are on the way home. What a grand experience this exchange has been - what fantastic forever friendships have been made! It was very sad for our group to leave Brazil but we are all already look forward to a new Colegio Santa Ursula delegation visiting us in Dallas in September. We love you, Brazil!!! Thank you for a wonderful life-changing experience!



Friday, June 10, 2016

Fun Times!

This past week, as our delegation has been living in Brazil, we have enjoyed many casual photos reflecting the warm and loving friendships that have been made with so many at Colegio Santa Ursula. The students and the adults have definitely bonded with their hosts. Here are a few of those happy friendship photos - how wonderful it is to be in Brazil with those we love!


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Dallas Presentation in Brazil

This morning the students from Dallas gave their presentation to the high school students at Colegio Santa Ursula. The number of students who wanted to attend was large enough to require the presentation be given twice. The students talked about Texas, Dallas, Ursuline Academy as well as shared information about themselves and their families. The students from Brazil were given an opportunity to ask questions, after which gifts were given from UA to Colegio Santa Ursula, to Sr. Helenice, and to Rafael Bianchi. Members of both schools expressed an appreciation for each other and noted we all hope the privilege of working together as sister schools extends far into the future.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals Forum at Colegio Santa Ursula

This morning our students participated in a forum during which groups of students presented their research and ideas on four of the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals.  The senior students from Colegio Santa Ursula who worked on this project volunteered, and the audience consisted of the remaining seniors and the juniors. The forum included the goals of Zero Hunger, Clean Water and Sanitation, Climate Action and Quality Education.  The Dallas students each presented a piece of the research; three groups presented in English and one group presented in Spanish. After each presentation, audience members made comments and asked questions which often lead to lively and thought-provoking discussions. The Ursuline Dallas teachers provided information and perspectives from the USA. The entire forum was transcribed by two Colegio Santa Ursula students and once it is completely translated into Spanish, Portuguese and English it will be sent to UNESCO.
To learn more about the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals, check out:

Students, host sisters, and teachers all ate lunch together near campus to celebrate a successful forum. Following lunch the students returned to classes while the Ms. Rico and Mr. Poellot visited the GOAL English classes to interact with the students and assist in their practice of speaking English. These classes are extra classes students can take to improve their mastery of the English language, and it is from these groups of students that future delegates from Brazil to Dallas will be chosen.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Morning of Reflection in Brazil

Today in Brazil, our students accompanied the Colegio Santa Ursula students to Mass and during a morning of activity and reflection. Because Colegio Santa Ursula does not offer formal Theology classes, the students have special times of retreat and reflection throughout the year such as this morning.
The students began the lesson in a spacious class room where they were given a paper mask to wear and then instructed to dance with each other. After completing the dancing students could remove their masks and then learned about the purpose of the opening activity – everyone wears figurative “masks” each day, masks which change with your current environment and reflect your inner attitudes at that time.
Next the students engaged in an art project with very simple instructions: create a poster of your name and decorate it in any way you choose using a wide variety of art supplies.  Once the name posters were finished, students took a break while the teachers hung the posters in another room.
Students returned from the break to watch a short animation titled La Luna. The discussion afterward helped students realize the video’s message, that everyone has to find their own personality and who you are meant to be.  Students moved into a prayer room where Sr. Helenice referred back to the day’s gospel and homily about everyone being both the salt and the light. She talked about how teens often don’t think about their lives, what they mean or how precious they are. We should not take our lives for granted and must take time to connect with both other people and nature.
The final part of the lesson took place in the name gallery (the room in which all the name posters had been hung on the walls). Students located their name, focused on it and spent time just looking at it while blocking out anything else in the room. Students then held a group discussion about the feelings they experienced while looking at their names. Students shared what they had learned, such as that one’s name can represent one’s entire history and is more connected to who you are inside than anyone had realized.

What a wonderful morning!

After Mass

Monday, June 6, 2016

At Colegio Santa Ursula

Today was the first official school day for our Brazil delegation. They arrived at our sister-school at 7 am (quite a bit earlier than our customary Dallas start-time) and were met by a huge crowd of enthusiastic and welcoming students and teachers. There was also a huge banner welcoming the group to Brazil! Our delegation was overwhelmed and overjoyed! Each of the students introduced herself to the crowd and said a few words of gratitude for the warm welcome.
The delegation enjoyed some time at the school's cafe (this group is definitely eating well) and then they went on a tour of the school. Two student ambassadors, Victor and Ligia, guided the tour. We were all delighted to learn that Colegio Santa Ursula recently started an Ambassador program based on our Ambassador program in Dallas - so nice to share this idea with our sister school! During the tour, our group learned about the history of Colegio Santa Ursula as well as the Montessori curriculum that is a critical part of the lower school.  
In the afternoon, students attended classes with their host sisters. They each report that they are having a wonderful time in Brazil. Over the weekend, in addition to attending the Festa Junina, some of our students attended a soccer game with their hosts. Additionally, some are planning to attend a volleyball game tonight while others will be "hanging out" with their host families. Indeed, all is excellent in Brazil!!
Welcome UA!
Going to classes...


Victor, our tour guide
In the "Dallas' room
School Café food - delicious!