In addition to the diversity in our regular families, we have multiple programs throughout the year that bring students from other countries, at the current time, Korean and Chinese.
Each year, Buena Vista is privileged to have 3-7 Korean and Chinese students (grades 4-8) who are completely integrated into the classrooms. Most students stay for the entire year, but some continue on for many years.
In 2011, Buena Vista had the privilege of establishing a "Sister School" relationship with Youngnam Sahmyook Middle School in South Korea. Each January for three weeks, Youngnam Sahmyook sends a group of students to study at Buena Vista, these are primarily 7th & 8th graders. Part of this program requires each student to have a homestay with a local family to be further immersed in American culture and to learn English at a very rapid pace. Long-lasting friendships have been developed and our students have enjoyed a rich experience whether in the classroom or hosting Korean students in their homes.
In October 2012, we welcomed a group of 5th & 6th grade students from Pyeongchang, Korea. Pyeongchang enjoys a "Sister City" relationship with the city of Auburn and will be the site of the 2018 winter Olympics. The government of Pyeongchang sponsored these students to study at Buena Vista to improve their English language skills. Once again, Buena Vista families along with select families in the community, hosted these children in their homes. One of the highlights of the 3 1/2 week visit was when the Mayor of Pyeongchang, the superintendent of schools, a senator from Pyeongchang and members of the Olympic committee visited Buena Vista's 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th grade classrooms, giving speeches of greeting to students in each class. This was a unique and exciting experience not only for the regular students of Buena Vista but also for the visiting Korean students from Pyeongchang, most had never had the opportunity to meet their own Mayor.
In March 2015, Buena Vista sent a delegations to Linping Middle School No. 3 in Hangzhou China to establish a Sister School relationship with that school. In the summer of 2015 Lingping sent students to visit the Seattle area and were able to visit Buena Vista.
In March 2016, two of our eighth grade students and one former Korean student visited Linping Middle School and were able to attend classes for three days.
Summer 2016, Buena Vista and their families once again hosted 23 students from Linping Middle School. They stayed with our host families and Buena Vista welcomed them upon arrival with a delicious lunch and fun games. After touring the Seattle area the students spent a week at Sunset Lake Youth Camp.
In January 2017 for the 5th years we again hosted students from Youngnam Sahmyook Middle School (13 students). They toured Seattle region, participated in classroom experiences and made presentations to the younger classes.