This summer, Cristina Cismas, a maths teacher at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, visited Enschede. Cristina is the founder of the BEAM programme (Business Entrepreneurship and Math), for which students from her school receive maths and business courses by completing assignments for companies and gain practical experience with entrepreneurship, bookkeeping and marketing. Thanks to contacts with Neighbors Abroad, an organisation in Palo Alto that facilitates exchanges with partner cities, Cristina met an individual from Bonhoeffer College Bruggertstraat, who is now implementing this programme at the college's 'business school'. A number of regional companies and organisations are already involved in this programme, but Bonhoeffer students also receive assignments from companies in Palo Alto.
In reference to this knowledge exchange, Christina said,'The Netherlands has a very progressive education system, and they jumped at the idea of starting my BEAM program immediately.' 'They came to Gunn three times during the past school year and took the successful US model back to the Netherlands. It was very surreal to see my education programme and ideas in play in a completely different country! […]I think this is world-wide learning at its best, since the students collaborate on their projects from around the world.'