By Tobi Bankole
Travelling between America and dozens of other countries in a short time span, Dr. Marc Lucht has been instrumental in expanding North Cross’ international presence.
As the Director of International Relations, Dr. Lucht job description changes based on where he’s needed. For his first two years in the job, he was co-principal of North Cross’ campus in Shanghai. Currently, he’s working on developing new partnerships. His most recent success is one most people on campus are familiar with: North Cross’ second school in China.
Though not every student knows the person who plays such an instrumental role in North Cross’ international, his importance is hard to be overstated.
He plays both a supervisory and advisory role in the campuses in Shanghai, but his favorite part of the job is travelling across the world and meeting people to secure new partnerships. Of course, not every venture is successful. For every success, there are things behind the scenes that don’t go according to plan.
“I spent 12 weeks last year in Taipei,” Lucht said, “and we were trying to develop a school there and get a campus there. We failed because there were new government regulations that made it hard to be financially viable. I also spent a couple weeks in Nepal last year, but that seems like it won’t work as well.”
North Cross is looking to grow somewhere in Europe after establishing a South American connection in Argentina through the efforts of Mariana Hermosilla, but the main priority as of now is Asia. What’s going on in countries can affect how viable it is to try and start a campus there, so the economic, political or social climate plays a significant role. China’s growing economy means that financially, it is easier to establish North Cross campuses and partnerships.
Though there are some setbacks as with any job as flexible as his, the successes have been tremendous. There are two schools that North Cross has partnerships in China, and every year North Cross gets closer to its goal of creating an interconnected web of schools that students can move between with relative ease. There are some things like language barriers, differing school calendars, and course difficulty that are being addressed, but overall it is very promising.
Dr. Lucht works to bridge these gaps by visiting these schools that are interested and meeting with their leadership. This is his favorite part of being director, and he finds it hard to overstate how much he enjoys it.
“Part of my job is super cool. I get paid to travel and go to other interesting countries and meet interesting people and have dinner with them. It’s really great,” he said.
Dr. Lucht was already a well-travelled person before taking his current post, but being Director of International Relations has expanded the gamut several times over. He’s lost count of how many countries he’s been to, but places the number from around 40-50.
“I really enjoyed Vietnam,” he said when asked about his favorite place he’s visited. “The food, people and environment were absolutely amazing.”
When asked about why he took this position and why he thinks it’s important, he put it simply.
“I think that travel, especially for young people, is essential,” he said. “Learning about other cultures and leaving the bubble that you live in really opens your eyes, and it helps you to be the best person possible.”
Photo- Dr. Marc Lucht asks Maureen Wu for clarity about the North Cross Nanchang schedule. Wu is the program director and APUSH teacher.
Photo by Meg Holsinger