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FAQ

About TGS

  • What is THINK Global School?

    THINK Global School is a path-breaking high school that offers teenagers a once-in-a-lifetime international experience. TGS students don’t simply “study abroad.” They immerse themselves in twelve countries over four years, undertaking a challenging curriculum administered by top-notch teachers, experts, and local guides that culminates in their official International Baccalaureate (IB) examinations at the end of year four. Throughout their studies, TGS students visit significant historical, cultural, and scientific sites, all while building new skills and relationships with those around them.

  • Where is THINK Global School?

    TGS is in a different country approximately every 6 months. Our approach allows students to experience a variety of cultures, languages, people, and ideas as they build a strong academic foundation and mature into global citizens and original THINKers. For example, our destinations for the 2011-2012 school year were Cuenca (Ecuador) in the fall, Chiang Mai (Thailand) in the winter term, and Berlin (Germany) in the spring term. Our 2010-2011 destinations were Stockholm (Sweden), Sydney (Australia), and Beijing (China). Learn more about our locations.

  • Who are THINK Global students?

    TGS students are competitively selected from all corners of the globe and all walks of life.  There are roughly 15 students in each grade level at the school. Together, they are a miniature United Nations, representing 21 different countries of citizenship as well as a diverse range of experiences, talents, and interests. Learn more about our students and their work.

  • Is THINK Global School a for-profit business?

    No. TGS is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit — in other words, we’re a charitable enterprise.  

  • Are the destinations for the next 12 terms fixed?

    Due to our unique academic requirements, the priority we place on safety, and a variety of other logistical factors, the process of securing our host cities and host schools is a complex one. Things can change unexpectedly; we always maintain a working list of alternates. So yes, TGS can change the itinerary at our discretion. It’s important for families to recognize that students are signing on for a global educational experience, not for the experience of any specific city or region. Learn more about our locations.

  • Why does the world need a global school?

    TGS students, faculty, and staff are pioneering a new way of global thinking that suits the diverse global community of today and tomorrow. THINK Global is a new model for education; a 21st century curriculum for a rapidly changing and rapidly shrinking planet that emphasizes experiential learning, hands-on research, and active exchanges with international peers and real-world experts. By nurturing applied critical thinking and a strong sense of engaged citizenship, we prepare students to be leaders and innovators in their university studies and their future careers. Learn more about our mission and history.

  • How would you describe the organizational culture of THINK Global School?

    TGS is a bold educational endeavor that rethinks traditional assumptions about what and how students should learn. This challenges every member of the TGS community to be creative, reflective, and focused on long-term developmental outcomes. Learn more about the people in our organization.

    In everything we do, we strive to uphold our core values of Tolerance, Humility, Immersion, compassioN, and Knowledge. We are also careful to provide positive role modeling for our students as we help them develop responsibility, respect, academic excellence, integrity, and good judgment.

Academic Questions

  • How do TGS Students Learn?

    TGS students spend as much time on classwork and homework as their counterparts at other top international high schools, but we combine this challenging curriculum with a wealth of educational adventures in our host city and its surroundings. These unique enrichment opportunities bring textbook concepts to life by facilitating meaningful exchanges with peers, experts, and guides. Ninth and tenth grade pre-IB courses include Math, Global Studies, Spanish, Mandarin, Science, Visual Arts, and World Literature. Eleventh and twelfth grade IB Diploma Programme courses include Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, Creativity/Action/Service, World Literature, Spanish, 20th Century History, Economics, Information Technology in a Global Society, Environmental Systems and Societies, and Math. Learn more about our curriculum.

  • What is an International Baccalaureate school?

    TGS has been authorized as an official IB World School by the International Baccalaureate Organization. This means that our school’s curriculum is guided by the IB Diploma Programme, with students taking the IB examinations prior to graduation at the end of 12th grade. Universities around the world place students who have completed the IB Diploma in high esteem, and often grant them advanced status upon admission. TGS is also fully accredited by the U.S.-based Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

  • Does TGS offer foreign language instruction?

    ? ? ! Es uno de nuestros objetivos más importantes. While the main language of instruction is English, Mandarin and Spanish are also core languages for our instructional program. Students also learn functional words for everyday interactions in the host cities.

  • What kind of individual attention do TGS students receive?

    Students are assigned to one teacher as their main advisor, but all TGS teachers provide individualized academic support as well as the general supervision and mentoring necessary to smooth the occasional turbulence that accompanies adolescence and world travel.

  • Does TGS have its own teachers, or do you use teachers from the host school?

    TGS has its own highly qualified faculty that is part of the school in every way a traditional team of teachers would be, and then some. They teach, supervise, mentor, and travel with the students. In addition to our own teaching staff, TGS facilitates opportunities for students to interact with classes at host and partner schools, and to learn from local experts in the cities of residence. Learn more about our teaching faculty.

  • Where do students take classes?

    The whole world is our classroom! We’ve studied biology in a rainforest, music in a recording studio, and history in a museum, but we do spend most days in a traditional school facility. In each host city, TGS works with a local host school that provides us with classrooms, science labs, art studios, and so on. Host schools also offer many opportunities for TGS students to interact and share with local peers through joint classes, workshops, and athletic events.

  • What do students gain from a global education?

    THINK Global School’s mission is to develop true citizens of the word, young people whose unique skills, values, knowledge, and experience will make them leaders and advocates in the multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual world of the 21st century.

    Beyond stamps in their passports, trinkets and souvenirs, colorful stories, exotic food, lasting memories, and incredible experiences to write about in their university admission essays, our students create lifelong relationships with their peers both inside and outside the classroom. They build cultural literacy and the courage to think critically and challenge existing assumptions. When they graduate, they have mastered a collaborative and resilient approach to problem-solving and risk-taking that will help them thrive in a competitive and connected world.

Student Living Questions

  • Where do TGS students live?

    Our students are closely supervised by faculty and staff in all of our residential accommodations. Our top priority is the safety and security of our students. Beyond that, we make residential arrangements in our host cities that facilitate deep immersion with the local culture. An authentic sense of participation in civic life starts with planned activities, but it’s the spontaneous walks around the neighborhood that really make it happen. Learn more about student life at TGS.

  • Do TGS students have to wear uniforms? Do I have to wear a jacket and tie to class?

    TGS students only wear uniforms when this practice is specifically required by one of our host schools for a given academic term, but they are always expected to dress in a manner that is respectful to their fellow students, their teachers, and the culture of our host cities.

  • What am I allowed to bring to school?

    When a student is enrolled at TGS, we send the family information about what he/she may and may not bring to school, as well as weight limits. In the interest of maximizing our flexibility and minimizing our footprint, we encourage all of the students, teachers, and staff who travel with us to pack lightly.

    Sample packing list for Chiang Mai:

    • Travel documents
    • (1) Piece of check-in luggage max weight 20kg
    • (1) Carry-on size overnight bag
    • iPhone 4 protective case
    • iPad 1 protective case
    • Laptop Case
    • Laundry Bag
    • (1) Towel
    • Athletic clothes and shoes
  • What do students do on weekends?

    Saturdays are very busy at TGS. We attend educational workshops with local experts, take advantage of fun museums and educational events in our host city, and sometimes even head out of the city for scientific and cultural trips. We also run supervised activities on Sundays, but usually that’s the perfect day for students to relax, gather their thoughts, and recharge their batteries for the week ahead. Learn more about student life at TGS.

  • Where and what do students eat?

    We provide nutritious food to our students so they can perform their best in the classroom. Dining with teachers and classmates creates the convivial social atmosphere of a home away from home. We also believe cuisine is an integral part of learning and understanding a culture. Students are exposed to a variety of food experiences during their time in each city, and periodically take cooking lessons that give them a chance to experiment hands-on with local ingredients and flavors. Special dietary needs should be discussed with school staff prior to enrolling at TGS.

Application Questions

  • When can I apply to TGS?

    The TGS school year begins in September and ends in June. Completed applications for the 2013/2014 school year will be reviewed starting in October of 2012. An admissions inquiry is the first step in the application process, and inquiries are welcome any time for the 13/14 and 14/15 school years. Learn more about our admissions process here.

  • What does TGS look for in its applicants?

    TGS students must have strong academic qualifications, but also the unique blend of curiosity, independence, and adaptability essential for world travel and global citizenship. Because students depend so much on one another to navigate unfamiliar places and experiences, a strong spirit of teamwork and collaboration is also important. These characteristics can be demonstrated in your admissions essays and interviews, and also through your record of proactive engagement with activities in and outside of school. It’s always best to apply early and to show your creativity on our unique online application.  Learn more about our admissions process.

  • Does TGS offer financial assistance?

    We are committed to making TGS a reality for outstanding young people who can flourish in a global, multicultural environment and make the most out of the unique opportunities our school offers.

    Cost should not deter you from applying. Assistance is available to accepted students who demonstrate a need for financial support. We work with families to determine a fair and reasonable contribution toward their child’s educational expenses. Learn more

  • Is it possible to join TGS in the middle of a term, or in the second or third term of an academic year?

    It is not possible for an applicant to join TGS for a period of less than one year. TGS is not a short-term semester abroad program. The academic and social continuity from term to term is very important to us in carrying out our educational mission and building our school community.

  • Can students apply to the school for just one year?

    While students are permitted to attend the school for one year, the hope and expectation is that they will stay with and graduate from the school.

Student Well-Being Questions

  • Do teachers or staff accompany students during their travel to the school locations?

    No. Families are responsible for the punctual arrival of their children to each of the three TGS locations during the academic year. However, we can arrange for airline staff to accompany students during the entire flight and release them only to authorized TGS staff members.

  • How do TGS students stay in touch with home?

    Each student is given a THINK Global School email address, and their MacBooks are pre-loaded with Skype. Parents are encouraged to communicate regularly with their children and their teachers via Skype audio or video, and of course students are free to communicate with their friends however they wish. Finally, parents are given access to THINK Spot, our online community, where they can observe and comment on much of their children’s learning activities.

  • How is security handled?

    Families can rest assured that security is an essential consideration for TGS. However, one of the requirements of maintaining a good security program is to not discuss its details on a public website.

  • Where, when, and how often can parents visit?

    We arrange specific times during each term for family reunions, and will inform parents with appropriate notice. It’s best if parents visit at the beginning and/or end of each term so as not to interrupt the students’ regular academic routine.

  • What happens if students get sick or injured? Are they health/accident insured?

    TGS has an extensive global insurance policy. In addition to this coverage, we pre-arrange local healthcare coverage for students in the event of illnesses and accidents.

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