Round Square Exchange

“I learned to be independent, and I also learned just how much I was missing here in America, like footy, Vegemite, petting koalas, being bitten by kangaroos, living by the beach, and so much more. I experienced incredible things, like surfing in freezing water, camping among kangaroos and emus, learning new subjects in school, and eating delicious food. It was difficult for me to leave and come back to reality, but I will never forget my time in Adelaide because it taught me so much about myself and allowed me to trust that I can handle being thrust into the unknown.”

Fountain Valley is a proud Round Square member school, offering you many exciting opportunities for global connections and engaged citizenship. Round Square is a diverse network of 220 like-minded schools in 50 countries on six continents that connect and collaborate to offer world-class exchanges and experiences. All schools share a commitment to character education and experiential learning built around Round Squares’s six I.D.E.A.L.S.: International understanding, Democracy, Environmental stewardship, Adventure, Leadership and Service. When combined with FVS’s core values of courage, open-mindedness, self-reliance, curiosity and compassion, the result is a synergy that provides students with an extraordinary opportunity to build character and develop a global perspective through cultural immersion.

Exchange Opportunities Around the world

Through Round Square, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a school in a different country for up to eight weeks. Prior to your time abroad, you’ll host a student from the school you will be visiting at FVS during January. Then, during your time abroad, that student will play host to you when you visit their school.  The results are rich cultural experiences and deep connections that are powerful for both you and the Fountain Valley community. And, you’ll likely come away with a friendship that spans the globe and lasts well beyond FVS. So, where do you think you might like to go?

  • Markham College in Lima, Peru
  • Scotch College in Perth, Australia
  • Belgrano Day School in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • MLC School in Sydney, Australia
  • St Cyprian’s School in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Westminster School in Adelaide, Australia
  • Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School in Western Australia

Sophomores and juniors are eligible for Round Square exchanges. Sophomores typically attend for eight weeks in the spring, leaving in March and finishing out the school year at their host school. Juniors travel during summer so that they may focus on the important work that must be completed during the academic year as a part of their college search. This works out well because Southern Hemisphere schools are in session during our summer.
My five weeks in Australia were the best ones of my life so far because I blossomed into someone of whom I am extremely proud. I made a lifelong friend in my RoundSquare partner. I consider myself a pretty outgoing, adventurous person, and I have always loved going on adventures in Colorado, but it was a completely different experience to partake in spur-of-the-moment adventures in Australia. From late-night drives along the beach to meeting tons of people, I experienced so many new things and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. Somehow, I ended up loving every experience that was uncomfortable at first. There were definitely things that were hard to get used to at first, like being put in a new school with few familiar faces, but I learned to put myself out there and make incredible friends.

Round Square Students at FVS

Fountain Valley’s beautiful campus, our location in the West, the recreation the region offers and the relaxed environment make FVS a prized Round Square destination school. Exchange students are fully integrated into Fountain Valley: they choose their course of study, participate in a sport/afternoon activity, live in the dorms with a roommate, and are a part of an advisory cohort. They also enjoy a great cultural experience defined both by FVS traditions as well as the many unique opportunities afforded by our location at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in the American West. Our community warmly welcomes these new faces and embraces the opportunity to learn from them and their culture. FVS students are also eager to share fun and meaningful experiences that they enjoy such as skiing and snowboarding, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and weekend trips to destinations throughout the U.S., to name just a few.

Round Square Conferences

Each year, Round Square students represent Fountain Valley at both international and regional conferences around the world. You’ll join up to 1,000 international students who are there to share, to learn and to be inspired to make positive changes in the world. These conferences encompass several days during which you will be a part of a baraza [Swahili for “meeting”], which will be the core group for your stay. Together, you work on an essential global problem. For example, the 2019 regional conference took place in Lima, Peru. Through a Model U.N. exercise, barazas worked toward developing solutions for water sustainability. Like Colorado, Peru struggles to balance demand for the water resources of their mountain regions and the competing yet interdependent interests of agriculture, urbanization and industrial use. Through these conferences, you will also have opportunities to embark on adventure expeditions like zip-lining across a river to go rock-climbing and to dig deep into a service-learning project. In Peru, students worked side by side with families as part of the Markham College community project to build homes for families displaced by the Chincha earthquake in 2008.

Round Square International Service Projects

Several Fountain Valley students have embarked upon international summer service projects with fellow students from across the globe. They work with a rural community to build much-needed infrastructure including classrooms, accommodations for teachers, bridges and clean-water systems. They learn about citizenship and community engagement while experiencing a new culture and developing a deeper understanding of world problems. In recent years, Fountain Valley students have volunteered in Ecuador, Morocco, Madagascar and Laos.

Gap Year

FVS seniors can also connect with Round Square after graduation for gap year opportunities. Several have taught at Round Square Schools in Bogotá, Colombia; Victoria, Australia; and Arusha, Tanzania. Benji Wrubel ‘19 spent a year teaching at St Constantine's International School in Arusha, Tanzania. His teaching assistant role included instructing junior-school classes, living in a student dorm where he helped supervise students, directing a play, and coaching soccer. He also attended upper-level chemistry classes to remain sharp for his upcoming freshman year in college. Benji’s words below, which he shared with FVS students upon his return from Africa, are emblematic of both the gap year experience as well as that of Round Square as a whole.

Benjie Wrubel ’19

In the months I've been here, my eyes have been opened to new experiences, opportunities, cultures and differences. It has changed how I think.
FVS is a private, college-preparatory, co-ed, day and boarding school for grades 9-12 in Colorado Springs.
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