The year is 1969. The muggle world is experiencing a time of great change and progress. Music is at the end of a reformation, students are raising their voices for civil rights -- a man has even landed on the moon!
The Wizarding world, however, is a dramatically different place for people to live. Over the years, a man has started to gain followers. An evil man, indeed. A man who believes only the purest of bloods should be allowed to use magic, and thinks of the remaining masses as inferior insects who need to be separated from pure society.
The man, who has come to be known as Lord Voldemort by his followers, has yet to make any rash movements against his targeted enemies, but the world of magic is at severe unease. Couples everywhere, including the soon to be famously known Molly Prewett and Arthur Weasley, are eloping, for fear of not having another chance. The entire world of magic stands in a state of uncertainty.
Even in such darkness, Hogwarts Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry stands as a steadfast beacon of safety in a world of growing tension between the 'pure' and 'impure'. The thick, protected school walls offer a sanctuary from the unease for both student and staff member, alike.
The United Kingdom's Ministry of Magic has come to a conclusion. International wizarding relationships, they argue, must be strengthened in the face of a foreboding threat such as this 'Lord Voldemort'. Wizards of all gender, blood purity, and nationality must be prepared to unite and fight against evil.
On 2 July, 1969, a decree is passed that states:"During the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry academic year of 1969-1970, an international exchange program between wizards of other academies throughout the world shall be enacted. In this program, various Hogwarts students shall spend the year in different, prestigious world academies of magic. In exchange, advanced students shall be invited to attend a year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
The ministry hopes that in passing such a program, strong, international ties and unity will be present in the future world of magic, that will certainly have to stand against the threat of a mass-terrorist as Lord Voldemort one day.
And so, the Hogwarts International Exchange Program was passed, and come the September of 1969, an incredible experience like none the wizarding world had ever known took place. But would the Ministry's plan work? That, is up to the students involved.
Whether they be brave of heart, of purest ancestry, of wit and learning, or just and loyal, the path they choose will be their own.
Now, which path will you choose?