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Chester County Press

Upland welcomes exchange students from Finland

10/04/2016 12:57PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

The rolling hills and fields that border the Upland Country Day School in Kennett Square are, to some observers, similar to the rural landscape of Finland. For the 39th year, the school is connecting Chester County to that Scandanavian country in a unique way.
Upland recently welcomed two exchange students from Turku, Finland, who have joined Upland's ninth grade for the current academic year.
Siiri Laine, who has a background in dance, is on Upland’s varsity girls' field hockey team. Severi Severi Laitinen is on the boys' soccer teams. Both have roles in the school’s fall production of “Grease: The Musical.” They will live with host families in the Kennett Square-Unionville community.
This year marks the 39th  anniversary of the Upland-Finnish Exchange Program at Upland, which has the oldest middle school level international exchange program in the country. The school’s Finnish exchange program was designed to provide students with a first-hand international experience using student exchange with an athletic focus as a vehicle for sharing friendship between countries. Since the program began, Upland has hosted 88 Finnish students. 
“We are excited to welcome Siiri and Severi to Upland Country Day School for the year,” said Thomas J. Reid, Head of School. “It represents an opportunity for students from entirely different cultures get to know one another, share their languages, customs and cultures. They establish lasting bonds that stretch across the globe while receiving a great education together.”
In February, Upland will be hosting a group of 35 students from Turku, Finland, for a week. Players from TPS Turku will be playing hockey with local teams at the Upland Rink, and girls from Lahjan Tytot, a competitive international dance/gymnastics team, will be performing at venues throughout Chester County and Delaware. 
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail [email protected]