Last week, our global programs director Brian and I spent two days at a WorldStrides-sponsored event in Philadelphia, at which we studied questions about optimal program design and student experience. The presenter lineup featured organization and school experts in global travel, providing a rich range of perspectives and wisdom on the topic.
- What is the overall purpose of your program? Curriculum, experience, or service?
- What does your school community value? Is your global program aligned?
- How much is global education represented in the rest of the school curriculum? Do students see the travel program connected to the rest of their school experience?
- Has your school thoroughly studied student health and safety preparations and plans?
- Do groups travel during or outside the school term?
- Where does student leadership live in your travel program?
We have returned with a decent list of outstanding school travel programs of different types:
- Ideaventions Academy, VA
- Palmer Trinity School, FL
- Maryland International School, MD
- Ursuline Academy, DE
- Holton Arms School, MD
- Appleby College, Toronto
- Collegiate School, VA
- District of Columbia Public Schools
- Boston College High School, MA
- Lawrenceville School, MA
At UPrep, we are implementing the first large shift in our signature Global Link program in 10 years. Our new Intensive terms allow Global Link to travel during an intensive term rather than over spring break. So far, two trips have migrated into the January intensive, with plans to continue moving trips next year.
Adding a specific subject’s curriculum to the trip is a new feature of Intensive Global Link. Our first three examples are Human Rights in Colombia, Global Link American South, and Storytelling in Samoa. As a result, schools that have established strong curricular connections for global travel are of specific interest to us right now. From the above list, these include Ideaventions, Lawrenceville, and Trinity Palmer, at a minimum.
Finally, Global Education Benchmark Group (GEBG) Executive Director Clare Sisisky presented three times on insights gleaned from GEBG’s 250 member schools, including broad perspectives on global program outcomes, school partnerships, conceptual frameworks, assessment instruments, and examples from model schools.