Relocating to a different country is no easy task, filled with a near-endless checklist of vital decisions. Is housing available where I’m headed? Can I obtain a driver’s license? Does my pet need quarantining?
For parents, probably the most important decision on that checklist is the question of schooling. If you find yourself in this situation, and have a teen ages 13-16 who loves nothing more than exploring new places, read on to learn why an education at a traveling high school might be the best decision you make during your transition.
#1) The best aspects of international and local schools, rolled into one
As an expat in a new country, you’ll largely find you have two choices: local schools and international schools. Local schools are more affordable and provide a chance for cultural immersion, but, depending on your location, could provide language barriers, a non-accredited curriculum, or a difference in educational values. International schools, on the other hand, largely provide a reputable academic experience but can be subject to long waiting lists, exemption from your company’s housing and school fees, or fenced-in campuses that offer few opportunities for students to step outside of their comfort zone.
At THINK Global School, we incorporate the best elements of both systems into our one-of-a-kind educational experience. Our distinguished faculty accompany our students in each country they visit and our 4:1 student-teacher ratio ensures that your child’s academic interests are never lost in a crowd. Your child will also have regular opportunities to interact 1-on-1 with a THINK Global School advisor, who acts as a mentor, confidant, and a dedicated contact for parents back home.
We also understand that attending a new school can be an intimidating prospect for a child, regardless of whether it’s a local, international, or boarding school. If there is one piece of feedback we’ve heard repeatedly from our attendees, however, it’s that our environment is as welcoming and our student body as inclusive as they come.
TGS has taught me to love the world. Love it with all its beauty, wonders, problems and realities. Mark Surnin, Class of 2014
Our admissions team takes great care in selecting motivated, self-sufficient, and intellectually curious teens to join us on our educational journey, capable of embracing and living our mission and core values. Our students help each other succeed, whether in the classroom, on the athletic field, or in reaching personal goals. So as your child explores the world, you can rest assured that he’s doing so in the best of company.
Additionally, in each country THINK Global School visits, we partner with a local host school whose learning facilities double as our own for the duration of the term. While on campus, TGS students are encouraged to strike up relationships with their local counterparts, often times through friendly games of football and other activities designed to promote health and fitness. The friendships your child strikes up can be continued through social media after the term ends, providing a continuing window into the places they visit, long after they’ve left.
#2) It’s a truly global education
As an expatriate, you understand better than anyone our world’s shift to a global, always connected society. And as more countries and businesses enter the international arena, it’s never been more important for your child to be able to build foreign relationships and grasp cultural sensitivities as they transfer from schooling into the workforce.
At THINK Global School, honing these skills is an integral part of your child’s education. Our small student body is representative of over twenty countries at any time, providing a diverse range of views and opinions on both local and international topics. Additionally, by living in four countries per year, your child will have unparalleled access to the world. They’ll explore cities and towns, celebrate rituals and traditions, and gain an appreciation for their surroundings only possible by experiencing them firsthand. See our upcoming locations.
#3) Project-based learning teaches real-world, complex skills
Studies show that the countries with the happiest, most successful students are those that prepare them for life rather than standardized tests. In countries like Finland, this means less time in the classroom and more freedom to innovate.
Students conduct a marine biology project in the Galapagos Islands
At THINK Global School, we’ve wholeheartedly embraced the concept of learning without walls, and through our Changemaker Curriculum your child will focus on mastering skills and concepts rather than rote learning. The Changemaker Curriculum is rooted in the pedagogy known as project-based learning, and each term your child will select 2-3 multidisciplinary academic projects specific to his or her interests, while also satisfying a set of learning targets designed to ensure a comprehensive education. Learn more about the Changemaker Curriculum.
#4) It’s the perfect balance between school and family time
The biggest downside to boarding school for many parents is the extended separation — holidays, the summer, and a smattering of days simply not being enough time together as a family. At THINK Global School, we employ the concept of blended learning, which balances time on site with much needed time at home via online learning.
Before arriving in their host country, students spend a week online finalizing their project-based modules, beginning research assignments, and ramping up their cultural and language skills. After that, they’ll spend seven weeks onsite before heading home for five weeks of break. It’s enough time for your child to figure out the best spots to hit up for authentic street food, but not enough time to grow homesick — truly the best of both worlds.
#5) High school today, endless opportunities tomorrow
We understand that high school is a stepping stone to college, and THINK Global School students are prepared from the beginning to succeed at the next level. Our graduates have gone on to study at leading universities such as Oxford, Harvard, and Columbia as well as innovative institutes such as the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Regardless of your child’s passions and ambitions, we’ll give them the tools to succeed.
The Changemaker Curriculum is designed to help your child successfully apply to colleges by preparing them for five Advanced Placement exams: AP Research, AP Seminar, AP English Language and Composition, AP Spanish Language and Culture, and AP Statistics. Beyond the AP exams, a college counselor will also work with your child during the duration of their high school career to prepare for UK admissions tests, the SAT, and the ACT. All graduates of THINK Global School also receive a diploma from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, one of six official accrediting bodies in the United States.
TGS graduate Hannah Cho now attends Columbia University in New York City
Strong scores on the SAT and/or ACT alongside high scores on the AP exams typically qualify students for acceptance at thousands of universities worldwide, including the leading and innovative schools listed above.
Limited spaces are still available for the 2017-18 school year, where we’ll be headed to Botswana, India, Japan and Spain. If you’d like for your child to join us on our educational journey, we encourage you to apply today.