What is THINK Global School?
THINK Global School is a traveling high school where you’ll live and study in a different country every semester, combining a top-notch education with place-based learning in four countries per year. Make real-world connections between your classroom subjects and the world around you while experiencing the adventure and excitement that each new environment has to offer … this is an education unlike any other, for students whose curiosity knows no borders.
Where is THINK Global School?
THINK Global School is in a different country approximately every three 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 2014-2015 school year were New Zealand in the fall, Costa Rica in the winter, and Greece in the spring term. Our 2016-2017 destinations are Peru, Morocco, and Canada.
THINK 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 29 different countries of citizenship as well as a diverse range of experiences, talents, and interests. Read more about our students. Read more about our students.
Is THINK Global School a for-profit business?
No. THINK Global School is a U.S. 501(c)(3) non-profit — in other words, we’re a charitable enterprise.
Are the destinations for the next 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, THINK Global School can change the itinerary at our discretion. It is 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.
Why does the world need a global school?
THINK 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?
THINK Global School is a bold educational endeavor that rethinks traditional assumptions about what and how students should learn. This challenges every member of the THINK 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. 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.
How do THINK Students Learn?
We believe that education should connect you to the world around you, providing context and insight into today’s most pressing issues. Drawing from the 21st Century’s most innovative and effective educational models, the Changemaker Curriculum combines high academic standards with interdisciplinary, project-based learning—so your environment informs your studies and your studies give meaning to your environment.Through development in three key areas, the Changemaker Curriculum builds informed, intelligent global citizens who are empowered to enact real and lasting change. Learn more about our curriculum.
Does THINK Global School offer foreign language instruction?
Es uno de nuestros objetivos más importantes. While the main language of instruction is English, Spanish is also a core language for our instructional program. Students also learn functional words for everyday interactions in the host cities.
What kind of individual attention do THINK students receive?
Students are assigned to one teacher as their main advisor, but all THINK 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. Learn more about our academic advisory program.
Does THINK Global School have its own teachers, or do you use teachers from the host school?
THINK Global School 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, THINK Global School 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, THINK Global School 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 THINK 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.
Where do THINK 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 THINK Global School.
Do THINK students have to wear uniforms?
THINK 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 THINK Global School, 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:
(1) Piece of check-in luggage max weight 20kg
(1) Carry-on size overnight bag
iPhone protective case
iPad protective case
Athletic clothes and shoes
What do students do on weekends?
Saturdays are very busy at THINK Global School. 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 THINK Global School.
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 THINK Global School.
When can I apply to THINK Global School?
Our next school year begins in July 2017, and you can apply from August through December of 2016. Completed applications for the 2017-2018 school year are due January 2, 2017.
To apply for future school years, please submit an inquiry here. You will be added to our list of future applicants, and can begin working on your application one year in advance. Learn more about our admissions process here.
What does THINK Global School look for in its applicants?
THINK 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 who should apply to THINK Global School.
Does THINK Global School offer financial assistance?
We are committed to making THINK Global School 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.
Tuition operates on a sliding scale for accepted students who demonstrate a need for financial support. We encourage all interested prospective students, regardless of family income, to apply to THINK Global School. Learn more about our tuition and financial aid policies.
Is it possible to join THINK Global School 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 THINK Global School for a period of less than one year. THINK Global School 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.
Do 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 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 THINK staff members.
How do THINK 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 or guardians 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 THINK Global School. 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 student’s regular academic routine.
What happens if students get sick or injured? Are they insured?
THINK Global School has an extensive global insurance policy. In addition to this coverage, we pre-arrange local health care coverage for students in the event of illnesses and accidents.
Do students have to buy their own iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks?
No. Technology is part of our academic curriculum and our daily lives at THINK Global School. All needed hardware and software will be supplied to students by the school, and is included as part of their tuition. Learn more about our learning technologies.
Can students install their own software on their iPhones, iPads & MacBooks?
Students are encouraged to help us identify useful learning software, and can install any other programs they wish provided they follow our acceptable use policy. These rules and guidelines ensure a safe, respectful, and legal online experience for everyone at the school.
Do students keep their devices when they leave THINK Global School?
THINK Global School retains ownership of all equipment, so it does need to be returned when a student leaves the school.
If a student isn't comfortable using technology, will they still be able to attend?
We expect a wide range of abilities and prior experience. Students will be provided with the training and support they need for success at THINK Global School, and we also emphasize digital literacy skills that will be useful to them later in life.
What travel information should be emailed to the TGS Global Travel Coordinator?
When sending tentative flight information, please be sure to email:
- Dates of travel
- Airline name(s)
- Flight numbers
- Arrival and departure airports
- Arrival and departure times
As our global travel coordinator reviews not only connection times, but also whether transit visas might be required at each connecting airport, please be sure to include information about all of your connections.
Why am I asked to email tentative travel plans to the global travel coordinator?
The travel coordinator will carefully review your child’s tentative travel plans and provide guidance around connection times and transit visas while also ensuring the proposed travel matches the student’s scheduled arrival and departure dates and airport locations.
Why are there deadlines for providing my child’s travel plans each term?
These deadlines are necessary to allow our onsite staff the appropriate lead time to organize airport transfer plans and any overnight accommodation arrangements close to the host location airport, if needed.
Instead of flying, can my child arrive into or depart from the host location by train, bus, or car?
If you wish to have your child arrive by an alternate means of transport than air, please send your tentative plans to the global travel coordinator for review and approval.
Can I accompany my child to the host location, visit my child during the term, or pick him or her up at the end of the term?
Yes, to all three requests! We encourage parents to be as involved as possible in their child’s TGS experience and welcome opportunities for them to travel with or visit the school. That said, if you plan on accompanying your child during the student arrival and departure dates, please provide your tentative plans to the global travel coordinator so a note can be shared with our onsite staff. Should you wish to visit during the term, please reach out to the program coordinator to ensure that your plans will fit within the school schedule.
May I only book one-way travel to the host location for my child?
It is strongly encouraged that round-trip travel be booked into and out of each host location prior to the deadline to send travel information for each term. The reason we encourage such bookings is that most host countries require visitors to have their tickets for departure in hand before flying in.
Is it possible for TGS to accommodate my child’s travel outside of the scheduled date of arrival or departure from the host location?
Email the program coordinator with the request for travel outside of the scheduled dates of arrival with the following:
- Reason for the request
- Tentative dates of travel, including flight times
The program coordinator will notify the global travel coordinator should the request be approved.
How long does it usually take the global travel coordinator to respond to tentative travel emails?
Please note that the global travel coordinator is based in the US EST, so all emails will be reviewed based on office hours respective of this time zone. Please allow up to 24 hours for a response during the workweek. On weekends, it may take a little longer for a response, but a response will be provided no later than the following Monday, 12:00 pm ET.
Can I purchase tickets for travel ahead of the current term?
The global travel coordinator will try to accommodate early travel bookings; however, please note that if the future term’s schedule should change, TGS cannot assume responsibility for any costs incurred in changing your child’s ticket.
I would like to plan my child's flights for the coming school year. Would it be possible for the global travel coordinator to share travel date information ahead of the release of next year's travel calendar?
Unfortunately, this is not something TGS encourages as the travel calendar is subject to change until the dates are finalized. Further, there is always the possibility that a location may be changed to due to unforeseen natural disasters or political unrest.
Why does TGS require the notarized Parent Consent forms, and why do we have to obtain three original sets of the notraized forms?
The notarized Parental Consents form is intended to protect your child during travel from unnecessary delays or questioning by foreign customs officials and/or airline employees – should such persons decide to question why the student is traveling without a parent or guardian. While this is not expected to occur in the regular course of travel, we don’t want your child to be unprepared if it does, as this could result in your child being denied entry to the host country.
The three original sets of notarized forms that we request are used as follows:
- Student set – should be carried by the student at all times while traveling in case it is requested by airline personnel or immigration officers
- Onsite set – will be maintained by TGS onsite staff to be used in case of an emergency or to replace the student’s set if it is misplaced
- New York office set – will be maintained by TGS remote staff to be used in case the onsite and student copies are misplaced
How will I know whether my child needs visas to visit the host locations?
Please note that a determination of whether a visa is needed for a host country as well as the process to obtain the visa, should a visa be required, is the responsibility of the student’s family. However, our global travel coordinator will provide a general checklist prior to the start of each term. This checklist will provide guidance and a general overview of the visa process for that particular host country.
In addition, TGS will provide any visa documentation that is generally required for that particular host country; however, a visa’s status is susceptible to sudden change, so we strongly encourage parents to contact the host countries’ consulates by phone to ensure that all visa application information is as up-to-date as possible.
If my child requires a visa for a host country, can TGS guarantee issue of a visa?
Unfortunately, no one can guarantee visa issuance. TGS consults with immigration attorneys in each location to ensure that the checklists and supporting documentation are compliant with the host country’s immigration laws and regulations; however, immigration laws and regulations are subject to change with little or no notice and visa issuance is at the full discretion of each host country consulate.
Will TGS provide assistance if my child’s visa is refused or denied?
Please note that visa refusals or denials are rare; however, they do sometimes occur. TGS does consult with immigration attorneys in each host location to ensure that students are applying for the most appropriate visa type and that the paperwork and guidance meets the appropriate requirements. Should your child receive a visa refusal or denial, however, you may select an immigration attorney of your choice for that host location.
If you prefer, we will also be more than happy to provide the contact information for our attorney in said host country, but please understand that TGS will not cover the cost of attorney assistance in the event of a visa refusal or denial. Otherwise, TGS will provide any and all assistance the immigration attorney deems necessary to file a new visa application, if permitted.
Will TGS allow flexibility around my child’s arrival if there is a delay in his/her visa processing or an early departure is necessary to allow enough time for visa processing for the next host country?
Although we feel the breaks between host locations should allow adequate processing time for most students to obtain their appropriate visas, there may be times whe a student will run into unexpected processing delays or encounter a host country for which processing time exceeds the break. If your child encounters either situation, please reach out to the global travel coordinator for coordination assistance with our onsite staff to ensure your child has the necessary support through this difficult time, and to ensure on-the-ground support when he or she is ready to travel. Due to the 80% attendance requirement found in our Student Parent Handbook, we ask that visa applications are filed as soon as possible at the start of each break, if a visa is required for the next host country.
How will visa processing impact my child's breaks?
Most host countries require applicants to file visa applications in the applicant’s home country. Given this requirement, TGS strongly encourages parents to ask the host country consulate about their jurisdictional requirements for filing an application prior to making plans for your child’s breaks. Parents should also be aware that some host countries also require applicants to file their applications in person, so this also will need to be determined while contacting host country consulates.