Are you interested in applying to THINK Global School but aren’t quite sure if it’s right for you? That’s OK! It’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. To help you in your application process, we’ve put together a list of five things we feel every applicant to THINK Global School should know. We hope you find them helpful. 1) You’ll gain an education by living and learning in the...Read More
Are you interested in applying to THINK Global School but aren’t quite sure if it’s right for you? That’s OK! It’s a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. To help you in your application process, we’ve put together a list of five things we feel every applicant to THINK Global School should know. We hope you find them helpful.
1) You’ll gain an education by living and learning in the world
At THINK Global School, the world really does become your classroom. Students at TGS gain an education through place-based learning, which Getting Smart describes as “connecting learning to communities and the world around us.”
Students who join TGS in the 10th grade have the opportunity to live and learn in ten countries total. On the other hand, students who join in the 11th grade will live and learn in eight different countries.
Your travels will take you across the world and provide opportunities to interact with many different cultures and communities. Each interaction is a chance to learn about the pressing social, environmental, economic, and cultural issues relevant to that part of the world.
Place-based learning is a methodology that can’t be replicated in the classroom, and only at THINK Global School can you live and learn in ten different countries throughout your high school education. It’s a passport to global citizenship and firsthand experiences that will shape your view of the world.
2) You’ll do so alongside a diverse student body
It’s not just the places you visit that you’ll learn from. One of the most important aspects of a TGS education is the diverse community you’ll join. Our students come from all over the world and represent a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and systems of belief. During an average school year, our sixty students hail from thirty different countries, making THINK Global School one of the most ethnically diverse schools in the world.
Due to this diversity, every day is an opportunity to converse with classmates who grew up 4,000 miles away and under different circumstances. These conversations help dispel preconceived notions while also showing how much you have in common with those hailing from other parts of the globe.
We also understand that gender identity and sexual orientation are fluid. THINK Global School prides itself on being a respectful and welcoming community where students receive the communication and support they need from our counselors to feel comfortable in their own skin. We’re a school that leans heavily into our core values, with empathy (treating others with understanding, compassion, and respect) and ubuntu (connecting to a greater whole – in mutual support and community) key among them.
So come to TGS with an open mind to those around you, but more importantly, come and be yourself!
3) Our year-round school calendar provides plenty of time at home
One way that THINK Global School will likely differ from your current school is our school calendar. While most schools provide summers off with a couple of breaks throughout the year, we do things a little differently at THINK Global School.
At TGS, we employ an “eight weeks on/five weeks off” calendar to ensure that students have enough time in-country to have an intensive and informative experience, but also enough time at home with family and friends where they don’t become homesick.
When THINK Global School originated in 2010, our students spent three months in each country. While this certainly provided benefits, it was almost consensus among our students by the end of the term that it was a bit too long. With the introduction of the Changemaker Curriculum in 2017, we landed on the “sweet spot” of two months of learning followed by five weeks of rest and time for students to prepare for exams if they so choose.
One thing to note about the eight weeks on: this time includes one week of remote learning followed by seven weeks of learning in-country. The week online allows students to gain an overview of expectations for the term, begin working on projects, and hit the ground running once their plane lands.
Speaking of projects…
4) Projects are at the heart of our curriculum
While THINK Global School has become synonymous with travel over the years, it’s our innovative Changemaker Curriculum that we consider our “secret sauce.” Teachers at THINK Global School don’t “teach,” at least not in front of a classroom. Instead, they take on the role of project advisors and mentors.
In each country you visit, you’ll work on one teacher-led module and at least one personal project. Teacher-led modules refer to intensive projects designed by our educators that take full advantage of our host countries. You’ll often work on these projects in teams as you work toward solving the project’s driving question.
Personal projects, on the other hand, refer to projects that you’ll design in consultation with your teachers — these can explore anything you like and allow you to pursue your passions, that is, as long as you have sign-off from your project advisor!
Students at THINK Global School also work on a wide variety of service projects — both while traveling and back in their home country. Service projects allow students to develop empathy and explore different aspects of the places they visit that might not be highlighted in their teacher-led module or personal projects. More importantly, they allow us to give back to the countries that so graciously open themselves to TGS.
Students at TGS are also required to complete at least one mastery project as a requirement for graduation. You can consider your mastery project as a deep dive into a subject of your choosing. Through your mastery project, you’ll work with experts in the field to create a high-quality project that can be shared with your peers and stands out in your digital portfolio when applying to university or a job.
5) You’ll master skills that you are passionate about and that are relevant in today’s workplace
While project-based learning is student-centered, it is also rigorous. To ensure you graduate from THINK Global School with a comprehensive education, you’ll be required to incorporate learning targets into each of your projects.
Learning targets are the backbone of THINK Global School’s Changemaker Curriculum. At their core, learning targets provide a measuring stick against which our students can assess their knowledge acquisition during personal projects and teacher-led modules. More simply, our learning targets provide a clear statement of what the student and their educators wish to accomplish during a project while still allowing the student to maintain ownership of their learning.
As you gain experience in each learning target, you’ll “level up” in rank. Three levels can be achieved in each learning target: novice, specialist, and master. All students must achieve the rank of novice in all of our learning targets, the rank of specialist in 70% of our learning targets, and complete one mastery project to meet the graduation requirements for THINK Global School.
So say you want to create a personal project based around science and graphic design. Your project advisor will work with you to incorporate learning targets related to science, visual literacy, and other skill areas as they see fit. If you decide, “hey, I really enjoyed doing science-themed graphic design,” you might decide to keep working on projects that allow you to build up your science knowledge and design skills, possibly even creating a mastery project around them.
You can learn much more about learning targets here.
Ready to Apply?
If creating projects in incredible locations alongside a diverse array of classmates sounds like a dream, we encourage you to apply today.