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March 2016 – Traveling Abroad

March 2016 – Traveling Abroad

It was merely a few short days ago that I was waking up with Tokyo just outside my window.

Once again this Spring Break, I found myself fortunate to travel to Asia on behalf of Grand River Academy, with visits to both South Korea and Japan. In any region of the United States or country that GRA travels, my goal is to be able to bring parents together and connect over the successes and shared experiences of their sons. Additionally, I have the opportunity to engage with alumni and GRA ambassadors, all while promoting the mission of our incredible school.

My first stop was Seoul, South Korea. We have three current students from Korea, in addition to alumni who have been a part of GRA’s International Student Program throughout the years. I was able to bring together these families, in addition to multiple prospective families. It was special seeing our Korean families bond and become friends. This part of the trip also allowed me to speak in-person with our families about their sons’ academic, social, and residential experiences at GRA, as well as the college placement process.

I then traveled to Tokyo, Japan before returning home to GRA last week. This was my first time visiting Tokyo and I was amazed - at the city, the sights, and the sounds. It reminds me yet again of the appreciation I have for our students who travel so far from home, their families, and their culture to advance their education and learning opportunities abroad. While there, I met with GRA ambassadors. Reconnecting and sharing the mission provided me with a renewed purpose of the changes we make in our students’ lives by providing the opportunity to students worldwide to attend GRA.

And I was not the only one travelling the world over Spring Break! A dedicated group of students and faculty travelled to Ecuador on a service trip as well, while on-campus our momentum continued with the construction of our second faculty duplex, which will be named in honor of Mr. Jed Trombley who retired from GRA in 2014. Spring Break 2016 at GRA in one word? Busy!

Our students have returned to campus and classes resumed yesterday. With this well-deserved Spring Break to rejuvenate them, I anticipate they will have a strong finish to the academic year, all the while enjoying the many events that this season holds – Spring Family & Friends Day, lacrosse, tennis, baseball, 2nd annual Grand River Gala, final exams and of course, Graduation!

Tim Viands

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