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Colegios Ramón y Cajal Visit Strengthens Corbett Prep’s International Ties

Encouraging personal, global connections is an important part of Corbett Prep’s international study program.

international study programOct. 31, 2014 (TAMPA, Fla.) – A dozen students from Madrid spent three weeks at Corbett Preparatory School of IDS in October, providing a valuable opportunity for U.S. and Spanish students to develop lifelong friendships and cultivate a better understanding of other cultures.

Students in grades 4-8 from Colegios Ramón y Cajal (CRC) were matched with Corbett Prep host buddies of the same age for their stay, becoming fast friends as they attended classes together and explored the Tampa Bay area.

The students practiced their English and Spanish as they chatted about differences large and small in their countries. Before leaving, the Spanish students and the two teachers who accompanied them even had a chance to experience an American Halloween, dressing in costume and participating in school holiday traditions.

International Study Opportunities

Encouraging personal, international connections is important at Corbett Prep and helps prepare its students for the future by teaching them to think globally. Through student visits and teacher trainings, Corbett Prep has developed strong ties to Spain, China and Belize and is in the process of coordinating a visit to Tampa for educators from Afghanistan. Corbett Prep also will welcome a dozen or more Chinese students for a two-week stay in early 2015 for the second year in a row. A new Chinese translation of the Corbett Prep book It’s All About Kids: Every Child Deserves a Teacher of the Year is underway as well.

Colegios Ramón y Cajal and Corbett Prep’s longstanding relationship started when Paloma Sanz, whose grandfather founded the prestigious family-owned school in Madrid, visited Tampa to learn about teaching strategies and the M.O.R.E. Model (Multiple Options for Results in Education) for increasing student achievement. Since then, several groups of Spanish teachers have visited Corbett Prep, and Headmaster Dr. Joyce Burick Swarzman has trained faculty and staff at the Madrid school as well as 20 other schools.

Luis, a sixth grader, came to Corbett Prep from Madrid with the most recent trip. He stayed with the Saligame family and had so much fun and felt so welcomed that he felt right at home. “You have a family that takes care of you,” he said.

Ronan Saligame, a Corbett Prep sixth grader, said he and Luis enjoyed playing soccer together in his backyard. He hopes he’ll be able to join the Corbett Prep trip to Spain this spring and visit Luis at his home and get to know his family.

The Goetz family, who hosted Alvaro two years in a row, said the experience has been wonderful for everyone. Alvaro’s family treated Jake like one of their own when he visited Madrid with Corbett Prep’s International Study Program last March. The two eighth graders were excited to be reunited when the CRC students returned to Tampa.

“This year we were lucky enough to have our Alvaro back,” said P.J. Goetz, Jake’s mother. “Every time we thought about when he had to leave, we all made ourselves stop and only think about having him here. He is an honored guest in our home.”

international study program
international study program
international study program
international study program


Founded in 1968, Corbett Preparatory School of IDS (formerly Independent Day School - Corbett Campus) is a fully accredited, nonsectarian private school located in Tampa’s Carrollwood neighborhood. The school serves over 500 students from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade and offers the International Baccalaureate program of study for all students. Teachers are endorsed in gifted education through a master’s level grant with the University of South Florida College of Education. Corbett Prep balances a dynamic, nurturing and safe learning environment with high standards and high expectations to develop a positive approach to life and learning. Corbett Prep has become recognized as an exemplary school with over 7,000 visitors observing and learning from Corbett Prep teachers. For more information, visit or contact the Admissions Office at (813) 961-3087.