By Esma Karuv '19
Family Weekend is a highly anticipated part of the TASIS Academic Year in which parents from all over the world come to Lugano and participate in a weekend that is dedicated to them. Each October TASIS provides a chance for parents to see the daily lives of their children whether they are boarders or not. Although classes are shortened, parents get to be involved in the class with their children and observe how they perform.
This weekend is helpful for both teachers and parents because both parties can come together and discuss the certain expectations they have for the specific student. Interacting with the teacher in the class and during conferences is an advantage most schools do not offer. Once parents finish a full day of sitting in their child's classes, TASIS dedicates the following morning to conferences for parents to come and discuss in more detail the concerns they may have. Detailed discussions with the teacher are more helpful for students to gain feedback for their future progression in class. Instead of discussing more generalized concerns with the parents, meeting the teachers opens up a broad discussion full of specific questions and answers. Feedback is important for both parents and students, which is why most parents take a flight from across the world for a chance to see their child in action.
Not only do the parents get to be involved in every class, they are also given the chance to meet new people. The parents of boarding students sometimes know no one, so gathering for a whole weekend gives them a chance to meet their child's friends along with their parents. This gives parents more comfort when they leave their child to live independently and without their supervision.
TASIS also organizes an assembly for the parents that consists of performances from the choir and speeches from students, as well as a welcoming speech from the Headmaster. Many parents enjoy this assembly because it showcases TASIS's talented Music Department. It also provides a good impression of the start of the year.
Family Weekend Assembly: October 13, 2017
Parents also get to spend time with their child after being apart for six weeks. It is difficult for boarding students' parents to be away from them for so long. This six-week separation can be a hard adjustment, so providing this Family Weekend is a good transition for both parents and students. Most boarding students are checked out and spend the weekend with their parents touring the beautiful sites of Lugano or enjoying some of the many sports games played on or nearby campus. It is clear that Family Weekend is designed to suit both students' and parents' needs, and it is eagerly awaited for each year.
Remarks from TASIS boarding students about Family Weekend:
"It is really nice to see my parents again. You don't really notice how much you miss them until you are away from them for so long, and the nostalgia really hits you once you are reunited with them again. This is my second year as a boarding student, and I think it is important to learn how to be independent and to manage yourself and your life without the luxury of having your parents around. Even so, I miss them a lot and some days more than others it is harder to be so far away from them. I have learned so much from the time that I have been away from them and have had to manage my life by myself. Even though my parents are not around me on a daily basis, we keep in contact every day and try to talk as much as possible. I also always turn to them when I need support or help, so in this way they still contribute a lot of moral support. Family Weekend is significant in the way that it allows me to show them around and allows them to see what my daily life looks like. Not having them around all the time makes showing them my life fun and makes me more comfortable having them here.
I am very close to my parents, and for this Family Weekend my father was here. For him to meet my friends is important to me and definitely makes Family Weekend worth the occasion. I think it is interesting for him to also meet and get a sense of the people I spend my days with. When my dad meets my friends, he also meets their parents, which I really enjoy. Mostly, I think it is interesting for the parents to get to know each other because having their children as boarding students means that they are away from them, so in this sense they can relate to each other. I also think it is fun to meet my friends' parents, as this makes you closer in a way.
Providing Family Weekend really goes to show how special TASIS is. I think that being a part of the community involves more than just what one can see in a day. However, this day definitely does a good job giving an idea of what a day in this community looks like—especially for the parents who get to take part directly in the classroom and see what their child's classes looks like."
– Frida Larsson '18
"It feels really good to see my parents again after nearly two months! I miss them tremendously on a daily basis, so seeing them again made me really happy. I was really happy to be with them even if it was only three days. I think it helps bridge the gap of being away from them from the start of the year until Christmas break. Family Weekend is a good chance for my parents to meet my teachers and talk personally to them about how I am doing in school. My parents usually ask me questions about class I can't answer, so instead of emailing the teachers it is better for them to meet and talk. Having my parents see my daily life at school makes life here more relaxing, and I am put more at ease. I love that they meet my friends and my friends' parents because it is easier in the future if we ever decide to visit each other in our different countries. It allows my parents to have comfort in where I am going. Family Weekend represents TASIS wonderfully because of the assembly and the opportunities the parents get when they visit."
– Valentina De VillaLonga '19
"It feels abnormal to see my parents after two months. Having my parents check me out while they're here allows me to stop worrying about the things I have to when I am a boarder, such as time. I can be out as long as I want. This gives me the chance to enjoy the moments I have with them."
– Valentina Correa '19
"Spending time with my mom after two months and being able to go out to dinner with her at restaurants in Lugano or drive to Milan for a day is really nice. Family Weekend allows me to reconnect with my family and catch up with everything that has happened while we've been separated from each other. My mother loves to talk to my teachers and inquire about my academic progress. I think it is good to have my mom have insight on how I live on a day-to-day basis at TASIS. It is an enjoyable experience once my family and friends go out for dinner together. I love when my parents meet my friends' parents because it means that both sets of parents trust each other, which means that as a boarder if I want to check out with a friend my parents will trust that I am in safe hands."
– Zeydan Rahman '19