Our mission is to inspire courageous global citizens.
A courageous global citizen lives responsibly by:
• appreciating and seeking to understand diverse cultural perspectives;
• communicating with confidence and cultural sensitivity in multiple languages;
• respecting human dignity and cultivating compassion;
• engaging critically and creatively with issues that transcend boundaries; and
• advancing a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world for all.
The CLVway of immersion brings our mission to life.
The CLVway reflects the Asian concept of 道 or the “way” to excellence through practice. It is framed by four precepts, each of which fosters key attributes of responsible global citizenship:
Grand Simulation: Participants become citizens of a Village. They explore a new world which is intentionally constructed to evoke the look, feel, sounds and tastes of communities where the target language is spoken. The simulated Village offers a nurturing environment —a playworld where each learner can gain the courage to communicate with cultural sensitivity in everyday social settings. Village life is designed to spark curiosity, encourage discovery, and promote empathy. As villagers feel more at home in their Village culture, they move beyond language learning to a way of being in the language that empowers them to better understand themselves and others from within another cultural perspective.
Community-based Learning: We are all about community. Our Village setting offers exceptional opportunities to build a purposeful residential community in which villagers and staff from across the country and around the world talk, play, eat and laugh together in ways that facilitate natural use of language and greater cultural fluency. We design each day's activities to nurture friendships and forge communal bonds that support an individual villager on his or her own journey. Villagers are encouraged to explore ways to use their voices and their actions to contribute to the greater good. As villagers become caring citizens of our community, they prepare themselves for responsible citizenship in the wider global community.
Lived Language and Culture: Villagers learn by doing. Being able to navigate different cultural settings with confidence is a critical attribute of a well-rounded language learner. Villagers need and want to use the target language in a wide variety of culturally authentic activities and linguistically meaningful settings, whether in formal learning sessions or informal conversations, at a meal or at the bank, on the sports field or on the lake, in the cabin or in the store. Villagers' ‘front stage’ experiences are enabled by purposeful ‘back stage’ planning and teamwork by our staff of native and highly proficient speakers. Staff members are well-versed in our genuine pedagogy of context-based learning in an intentionally playful atmosphere. Our experiential, activity-based, and villager-centered methods engage multiple senses and diverse ways of learning. Staff encourage villagers to invest in and reflect on their own learning and to interact with other perspectives and beliefs with interest and confidence.
Outdoor Learning: No learner should be left indoors. We embrace our natural setting in Minnesota's North Woods to provide healthful play and learnful fun, unplugged from screens and headphones. Nature is on our playlist—frogs and crickets, wind and waves. Our community-based practices emphasize sustainability and stewardship. We incorporate appropriate cultural perspectives and environmental practices into our learner-centered activities. A natural consequence is appreciation for the wonder and complexities of the natural world and our role in caring for it.