English in Action: The English-Speaking Union

Secondary School Exchange

Edmundo Ortiz '18 named English-Speaking Union Scholar

Edmundo Ortiz

Edmundo Ortiz '18 is headed across the pond for a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity as an English-Speaking Union Secondary School Exchange Scholar.

The appointment grants Ortiz a full scholarship to spend a year between high school and college at a British boarding school. Next year, he will study at Eastbourne College in East Sussex, England. He has already been accepted to Bowdoin College, a top liberal arts college located in Brunswick, Maine, for the 2019-2020 academic year and plans to study English, philosophy, and politics.

"I love the English culture, love learning and love traveling, and taking this Gap year would give me the opportunity to do all three," Ortiz said. "Also, I want to be a writer when I grow up, and having a year with no academic pressures will allow me to read and write whatever I want without the worry of college applications or studying for the SAT."

Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School is one of 13 participating American schools in the ESU's exchange program, and is the only Georgia school on the list. The English-Speaking Union is a non-profit educational charity that employs the English language to foster global understanding and good will through educational opportunities and cultural exchange programs. According to its website, the Secondary School Exchange program allows scholars "gain independence, a global outlook, and increased maturity that benefit them at college and in their future careers."

"It is an honor for Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School to participate in the ESU Exchange program. This program gives our students the opportunity to expand their horizons academically and culturally," said Head of School Dr. Anthony Sgro.

For Ortiz, an aspiring novelist, this gap year program will create the opportunity for him dive into his academic interests without the pressure of college acceptance.

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