New Flags Welcome Families From Outside of the United States
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New Flags Welcome Families From Outside of the United States

While families across the United States, from California to Virginia, have decided to call Lausanne home this year, the school is also welcoming students moving to Memphis from other countries to our community. 

“Organizations like St. Jude, International Paper and FedEx all bring new employees from around the globe to Memphis,” explains Laura Trott, Lausanne’s Director of Admission. “Because these families are usually familiar with the International Baccalaureate’s reputation, they’re drawn to Lausanne.”

Over the past few years, difficulties in the immigration process and COVID limited the number of people immigrating to Memphis. But with restrictions lifting, more families are coming to the mid-south and looking not only for a school for their children but a place to belong.

“When you’re new to a country, the school your children attend isn’t just a place for them to receive an education: it’s your family’s home,” shares Stuart McCathie, Lausanne’s headmaster. As a British ex-pat, he knows the role a school community can play for families new to the mid-south. “Finding a place where you feel like you belong and can build relationships gives them a support network where the entire family can thrive.”

With almost a third of students and parents born outside of the United States, Lausanne works hard to ensure that those families have the opportunity to feel at home on campus. One of the most visible ways can be found in Lausanne’s Dining Hall. A flag from each family’s nation hangs from the ceiling, with new ones being added each summer. This year, flags from Serbia, El Salvador, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Tanzania and Mauritius joined the display.

Other new families from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Ecuador and Singapore became part of our community this year, bringing the total number of different countries currently represented to 77, a new record for the school. The school doesn’t remove families' flags after graduation, and with so many new countries represented, the ceiling space is almost filled with flags of current students and alums that have called Lausanne’s campus home. But Trott doesn’t see the tradition in danger of running out of space anytime soon.

“When parents come to the school to enjoy lunch with their children, you can watch them proudly point up to the ceiling,” she shares. “It’s so special to them as individuals, but also a point of pride for our entire community. And we still have plenty of space for new flags.” #thelausanneway


Posted by Shayne Dotson at 18:01