This is inspiring! I like it that you all have escaped the trap of putting ‘education’ and ‘life’ in separate boxes.
– Comment on TGS blog by Philippa Thomas
For TGS students, education doesn’t stop at the close of the school day. Opportunities for learning are all around us wherever we go, because everywhere we go is new, different, and interesting. Even in the dormitories, there is a constant interchange between teachers and students. Class discussions, one-to-one mentoring, and foreign language practice continue during everyday conversation and over meals. This intense learning immersion can be demanding at times, but it is ultimately very rewarding for all involved.
In the process, TGS students learn to be dependable and responsible members of our school community. We also project these values outward by treating our host city neighbors with tolerance and sensitivity and our physical environment with appropriate care.
TGS provides lodgings in each host city. Students, teachers, and staff live, work, and eat together as we travel the world. All accommodations meet the standard of a top quality boarding school, but of course no two are quite the same, and students benefit from experiencing a variety of living situations within different cultural settings. Students usually share rooms or apartments (always with classmates of the same gender). At least two faculty or staff members are on duty and available at all times in the residence. When on duty, these supervisors are responsible for enforcing school rules, maintaining the safety of all students in their care, and identifying and addressing problem situations.
We provide nutritious food to our students so they can perform their best in the classroom and build the kind of community that can only come from sharing a table. We also believe cuisine is an integral part of learning and understanding a culture, so our meals usually feature local fare. Students are exposed to a variety of food experiences during their time in each city, eating at restaurants, outdoor markets, local homes, and school cafeterias. When available, the school also arranges cooking lessons that give students 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.
Extracurricular Activities – Life Outside of Schoolwork
Because we believe in a curriculum without walls and without limits, the boundary between “school” and “life” at TGS is much thinner than it would be at a more traditional school. Night and weekend activities provide further opportunities for learning, adventure, and fun. We might attend an educational workshop with a local expert, take advantage of museums or educational events in our host city, or head out of the city for a scientific or cultural trip. We also make sure to give students plenty of time to recharge their batteries, gather their thoughts, and study for classes.
Our athletic pursuits so far have included everything from rock climbing, scuba diving, tennis, and fencing to a simple game of football in the park. We also make arrangements with our host schools to offer intramural competitions. Sport and fitness activities are important to healthy development and build trust, self-control, and teamwork.
Students are encouraged to pursue the social, artistic, musical and athletic activities that interest them. Whenever possible, we try to draw connections between these pursuits and the formal academic program. However, because of its vigorous schedule, TGS would not be a good match if you prefer to focus strongly on one activity or skill that occupies the majority of your daily attention (e.g. if you are training to become a professional tennis player or a concert violinist).
The TGS Residential LIFE Team (ResLIFE) lives with the students and supervises them whenever they are not in class. They work to engage the students in meaningful activities while also helping to develop important life skills. ResLIFE offers support and guidance to students as they travel the globe, learning about the world, themselves, and each other.
Families are responsible for the punctual arrival of their children to each of the three TGS locations during the academic year. Students from similar geographic locations often book the same itinerary so they can travel together. However, the school can also arrange for airline staff to accompany students during their flights. A TGS staff member greets students at the airport when they land. During the semester, students travel the host city the way locals do, truly experiencing the life and culture of each place we visit. We walk, take public and private transport, and often travel by land, air, and sea within a single semester. On the date of departure from the host city, a TGS staff member again accompanies students to the airport.
Health and Safety
TGS values its commitment to the intellectual, emotional, and physical well-being of its students. Students receive comprehensive guidance in the necessities of keeping and maintaining good health, including regular exercise and a healthy diet. The Head of School and all ResLIFE staff have Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA) certification, including CPR. If a student becomes ill or injured, TGS makes sure he or she receives proper, immediate medical attention. When a student needs to miss several days of classes due to illness or injury, teachers are accommodating. TGS promptly informs parents of any serious health problems.
TGS provides medical insurance to all students during the academic school year. Access to health and medical services is arranged through prior agreements with local service providers. There are times when a student may require the service of a professional counselor to help resolve personal difficulties. TGS will address specific situations on a case-by-case basis.
Safety and security are important concerns for any school, but particularly for a school that travels to so many different nations and geographic regions. Each host city location has different circumstances and risk factors. Students are expected to follow all school safety guidelines, and our faculty and staff monitor their whereabouts at all times; they cannot leave our classroom facilities or living quarters without permission. Our security solutions incorporate the latest technology and trained personnel to ensure an anxiety-free experience for all involved. Of course, one of the requirements of maintaining a good security program is to not discuss its details on a public website.
The TGS Community
THINK Global School is a unique and exciting educational adventure, but it is also a close-knit family that makes sure students have the daily structure and individual attention they need to mature and develop. It is a well-run boarding school operation that provides comfortable and clean residential accommodations and a safe learning and teaching environment.